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Mailbag: Mixing and matching the D-linemen


Dennis in Maryland: Dalvin Tomlinson should be playing defensive end and Dexter Lawrence should be playing nose tackle. Is it possible for these two to switch positions? I think Dalvin would be more agile and much quicker off the edge and Dexter - with his size and power - can push the center off the line. I think this just make more sense.

John Schmeelk: Yes, Lawrence is physically larger, but I think he is also more agile and quicker. Tomlinson is an excellent player, but his strength is against the run. Lawrence, for example, had a better 40-yard dash time, as well as 10- and 20-yard splits. Lawrence did not compete in the agility or jumping drills at the combine. This year, for example, Pro Football Focus has Lawrence with a 9.4% pass rush win rate and seven total pressures in 85 pass rush snaps versus Tomlinson, who has a 8.1 pass rush win rate and six pressures in 87 pass rushing snaps. Last year, Lawrence had a 10.2% pass rush win rate versus 6.9 percent for Tomlinson. Lawrence might end up at nose tackle one day, but for now it is a better spot for Tomlinson.

Tim in Maryland: Why isn't Wayne Gallman the staring running back? He has proven himself in practice and in scrimmages. He deserves the chance to show us what he can do. It seems to me he is the back who understands what he is supposed to be doing.

John Schmeelk: Wayne Gallman has made the most of his opportunities over the last two games, rushing 11 times for 69 yards. He gets downhill quickly as a one-cut runner. Devonta Freeman has a huge resume of past success, and is a good runner, pass protector and receiver. He runs with power and is elusive in space. Both liekly will be used in the running game going forward.

James in Texas: Who, in your opinion, are the real Giants?

John Schmeelk: We don't know yet. To repeat an earlier answer, there is still nearly 70% of the season remaining. This is a young team with new coach, coordinators on both sides of the ball and coming off an abbreviated off-season. Five games into the schedule, the impact of those factors should be fading away. Based on the way the season has gone so far, the Giants' 27-point loss to the 49ers appears to be an aberration. They have lost their other four games by a combined 25 points.

Losses are losses, but the Giants have been competitive against four teams who are in first or second place in their respective divisions. As the team continues to improve, the hope would be the Giants play well enough to make more plays at the end of the games to get over the top and grab some wins.


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