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NFL New York Giants

Who Will Step Up Along the New York Giants’ Defensive Line?

Johnathan Hankins

Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest losses for the New York Giants this offseason came in the form of defensive tackle Linval Joseph signing with the Minnesota Vikings.

Joseph, who is just 25 years old, quickly evolved into a force along New York’s defensive front in four short years. The Giants drafted him in the second round out of East Carolina. However, his price became too high for New York, who needed to reconstruct several facets of their offense and defense after the 2013 fiasco.

With Joseph gone, New York must now find a starter to play alongside Cullen Jenkins. Veteran Mike Patterson and youngsters Johnathan Hankins, Markus Kuhn and Jay Bromley are the defensive tackles on the current roster.

Although Hankins is entering just his second season in the NFL, he seems like the most likely candidate to replace Joseph or, at the very least, see the bulk of Joseph’s minutes. The Giants drafted Hankins out of Ohio State in the second round of the 2013 draft. He played sporadically in his rookie season but did improve with more experience.

Patterson was with the G-Men last season in a reserve role. He saw time in all 16 games but his minutes were limited. Kuhn has also played very sparingly in his first two seasons with the Giants, appearing in just 15 games over that span. He has registered just nine tackles in his career.

Meanwhile, Bromley will be a rookie this season, as New York picked him up in the third round of this year’s NFL Draft.

The Giants like to constantly sub players in and out along the defensive line in order to keep them fresh. They will certainly do the same this year and all of these defensive tackles should see time. Hankins may secure the starting spot in training camp but look for New York to replace Joseph with a committee of defensive linemen.

Daniel Brennan covers the New York Giants for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DBrennan30 and add him to your network on Google.