Giants: Leonard Williams is your typical Dave Gettleman pick

Leonard Williams, New York Jets. New York Giants. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Leonard Williams, New York Jets. New York Giants. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

In a rare move, the New York Jets traded defensive tackle Leonard Williams to hometown rival the New York Giants.

Just a day before the trade deadline, the New York Jets made the decision to move on from underperforming defensive tackle Leonard Williams. The deal was announced yesterday that in exchange for Williams, the New York Giants will send a 2020 third-round pick and a conditional 2021 fifth-round pick. If the G-Men re-sign Williams, that pick becomes a fourth-round selection.

Defensive tackle is not a position where Big Blue needed help. Their defense has vastly underperformed, but the tackle position is stacked with B.J. Hill, Dalvin Thompson, and rookie Dexter Lawrence.  Since Gettleman assumed the role of general manager for the Giants, his main focus has been beefing up both lines.

He calls those players “hog mollies” and says you cannot get enough of them if you want to win. Gettleman’s philosophy is winning starts with running the ball, stopping the run and getting pressure on the passer.

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Leonard Williams, the sixth overall pick in 2015, was believed to be the Jets next big defensive superstar. Maybe it was because his previous team mismanaged their defensive line and by no fault of his own, but Williams never had that breakout season in the NFL.  He now joins the mix at a position where the G-Men are quite deep.

The New York Giants didn’t need to draft Dexter Lawrence in the first round last April, but he again is a player that, like Williams, Gettleman likes to go after. Despite the defense’s poor play this season, Lawerence has shined. In the Giants game against the New England Patriots, Lawrence graded as the Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded rookie with an 84.2 grade, which is higher than 49ers’ Nick Bosa and Browns’ Greedy Williams.

Building a football team, starting with the two lines is a smart way to build. However, the Giants have gaping holes on this roster that need to be addressed before adding more players up front. The rest of their defense has been awful and it’s unclear who will even be on next year’s roster.

Next. Giants – Jets trade is a head-scratcher for both teams. dark

It seems likely the Giants are going to try to sign Wiliams to a long term deal to pair with Lawrence for the future. Their playoff chances are below slim this year so a rental doesn’t make much sense and this must be a move to set up for the future of this defense.