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Giants Now: Dexter Lawrence & Leonard Williams ranked top interior D-line duo by PFF


Dexter Lawrence & Leonard Williams ranked top interior D-line duo by PFF

There is no denying the talent the Giants have along the defensive line.

Pro Football Focus' Jim Wyman recently ranked the best teammate duos at every position around the NFL, where he named Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams as the top pair of interior defenders.

"In 2022, Lawrence broke out in a big way, as he and Chris Jones are the only two interior defenders to ever finish with a higher PFF grade than Aaron Donald in a season since he entered the league in 2014," wrote Wyman. "While 2022 was Lawrence's breakout season, Williams has been one of the most consistently reliable players since he entered the league in 2015, never having a PFF grade lower than 70 in his eight seasons."

Lawrence enjoyed a true breakout campaign in 2022 on his way to being named Second-Team All-Pro. The fourth-year defensive lineman set new career-highs with 7.5 sacks and 28 quarterback hits, shattering his previous high marks of 4.0 sacks and 11 QB hits.

He has also set new career-bests in total tackles (68), tackles for loss (seven), pass breakups (three) and forced fumbles (two), which led to his first selection to the Pro Bowl. Lawrence registered 70 total pressures, including the playoffs, and 42 defensive stops, according to PFF.

Williams missed time due to injury for the first time in his eight-year career this past season. In the 12 games he did play, the veteran lineman registered 45 tackles (26 solo), 2.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, five tackles for loss, one forced fumble and a career-best two fumble recoveries.

Across the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Williams did not miss a game while recording 18 total sacks and 44 quarterback hits.

The Giants now have more depth along the defensive line as well, as they added veterans Rakeem Nunez-Roches and A'Shawn Robinson in free agency.

Here are all of PFF's top position duos:

  • Running Back: Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillion, Green Bay Packers
  • Wide Receiver: Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
  • Tight End: David Njoku and Jordan Akins, Cleveland Browns
  • Offensive Tackle: Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Offensive Guard: Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, Cleveland Browns
  • Edge Defender: Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Defensive Interior: Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, New York Giants
  • Linebacker: Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers
  • Cornerback: Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, New York Jets
  • Safety: Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams, Baltimore Ravens

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