By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
This is part 3 of 10 in a series of player spotlights as the New York Giants placed the franchise tag on DL Leonard Williams for 2020. This is a vital year for Williams and for the Giants ability to be a dominant force along the defensive line. When the Giants acquired Williams in midseason last year, their run defense improved as players like Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence PFF ratings went up dramatically.
What It Cost:
Simply put, when Williams is playing well he makes everyone around him play better and he often encounters double teams on the majority of plays throughout the game. The Giants GM Dave Gettleman decision to trade for Williams was not received well by the majority of fans and also the media. bringing Williams back for the year seems like a given as it appeared that Gettleman had no choice after surrendering a 3rd round pick in this year’s draft and currently a 5th round pick in 2021. Gettleman is banking on Williams to perform at a high level to silence his critics in 2020 and then an even tougher decision will need to be made by Gettleman if he envisions Williams as part of the Giants future by rewarding him with a multi-year contract.
Final Thoughts: If Williams has a solid season in 2020, I believe we will see the Giants run defense and also their sacks increase as the Giants improved the linebacker and the secondary this off season.
This will allow Williams that an extra fraction of a second to get more sacks in 2020 and the projection of possibly 4-6 sacks in 2020 is not a reach. Keep in mind, last season Williams ranked 11th in total pressures among the interior defensive lineman and led the league with 19 quarterback hits.