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Fact or Fiction: Dexter Lawrence's career trajectory


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

Daniel Jeremiah had a lot of surprises in his initial ranking of the top 50 draft prospects.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – I think everyone is in agreement that Caleb Williams and Marvin Harrison Jr. are the top two, regardless of position, and then the rest are in the eye of the beholder. It is interesting, though that eight of the top 10 are players on offense.

Lance Medow: Fiction – It's so early in the draft process with opinions across the board that no rankings should surprise anyone, especially the initial version for Daniel Jeremiah. This is just the beginning of the marathon leading up to late April, and those takes will evolve little by little as we get to the scouting combine and pro days. Everyone has an opinion in the draft process; it's just a matter of how much stock or substance you want to put in the one you're consuming at a given time.

Matt Citak: Fact – I don't know if I'd necessarily say there were a lot of surprises, but there certainly were a few. For starters, I was surprised to see Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze at No. 3, while LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers was down at No. 7. Those two wideouts have widely been ranked around the same, and I figured they would find themselves back-to-back in Jeremiah's rankings. Additionally, most draft analysts have the top two offensive tackles in the draft as Notre Dame's Joe Alt and Penn State's Olumuyiwa Fashanu, but Jeremiah actually has Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga ranked one spot above Fashanu. However, the biggest surprise in Jeremiah's rankings to me was Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold finding himself all the way up at No. 6. While Arnold played his way above his fellow Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry (No. 36) this past season, I didn't think he would land in Jeremiah's top 10, let alone be the highest-ranked defensive player. I thought that honor would go to his Alabama teammate Dallas Turner, who was the second-highest ranked defensive player at No. 10.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his updated ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Bolstering the roster on offense is more important than the defense this offseason.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – I don't think you can pigeonhole the Giants' needs to one side of the ball heading into the draft and free agency. As Joe Schoen said in his end-of-season press conference, "I don't think there's one thing [that went wrong between Year 1 and 2]. I mean, there's a multitude of things."

Lance Medow: Fact – The Giants averaged 15.6 points per game in 2023, the third-lowest mark in the NFL ahead of only the Patriots and Panthers. While the scoring defense ranked 26th in the league (23.9), that unit was opportunistic and kept the team in many games. When you take those two factors into consideration, the main focus needs to be on the offensive side of the ball as the Giants averaged 21.5 points in 2022, nearly a touchdown more than this past season. In order to score regularly, you need to produce explosive plays. Additional talent and healthy players can help that cause.

Matt Citak: Fact – Between the troubles along the offensive line, Daniel Jones' injury, Saquon Barkley's pending free agency and a need for more offensive playmakers, there is work to be done in order to get the Giants offense to where it wants to be. While there are some holes to fill on the defense, I expect more resources to be spent on the offensive side of the ball this offseason. With three picks in the top 50 and some cap space to work with, the offense could look very different in 2024.

View photos of every NFL player selected with the sixth overall pick since the first draft in 1936.

Having a top-tier playmaker on offense is more important to a team's success than a top-tier playmaker on defense.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Just look at the rosters of the two teams about to play in the Super Bowl. While their defenses are strong, it can be more of a collective effort on that side of the ball. But the true contenders have that special person on offense who can make the plays he shouldn't.

Lance Medow: Fact – In this league, you must consistently score points. That may sound too simplistic, but the numbers don't lie. It's no coincidence that nine of the top 10 scoring offenses in 2023 made the playoffs, and one of the two Super Bowl participants finished third in that category as the Niners averaged just under 29 points per game. San Francisco showcases Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. All four players are explosive, and that entire offense is structured around yardage after the carry or catch. Eight of the top 10 scoring defenses made the postseason this year, so you can make a strong case for game-changers on that side of the ball as well, which applies to both the Niners and Chiefs. But based on the law of average, you're not going to shut down every opponent.

Matt Citak: Fact – I went back and forth on this one but ended up leaning towards a top-tier playmaker on offense being slightly more important than one on defense. Looking at the two teams in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs and 49ers both have a skill position player that is the best at their position. Kansas City has elite tight end Travis Kelce, while San Francisco has running back Christian McCaffrey, a finalist for both MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Of course, the two teams also have top defensive units that include some very talented players such as Chris Jones, Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, just to name a few, but outside of the quarterbacks, Kelce and McCaffrey are likely the first two players to come to mind when talking about the Super Bowl teams. Nonetheless, it takes more than just one top-tier playmaker on either side of the ball for a team to enjoy sustained success.

Dexter Lawrence is the Giants' best defensive player since Jason Pierre-Paul.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – Landon Collins is the link in that chain. He was named to the All-Rookie Team in 2015, followed by three consecutive Pro Bowls and a first-team All-Pro nod in 2016.

Lance Medow: Fact – Keep in mind, the Giants essentially went straight from Jason Pierre-Paul to Dexter Lawrence, so there's not a huge sample size of players to evaluate in between. JPP's final year in New York was 2017 and Dexter Lawrence was drafted in 2019. Although Dex wasn't a Pro Bowler immediately, I wouldn't put another player in the same category.

Matt Citak: Fact – Landon Collins earned some consideration here, but Lawrence gets the nod after what he's done over the last two seasons. Since the start of the 2022 campaign, Lawrence has established himself among the top defensive linemen in the NFL, earning back-to-back second-team All-Pro selections in addition to two straight trips to the Pro Bowl, among numerous other accolades. Despite lining up primarily at nose tackle over the last two seasons, Lawrence has found a way to consistently get into the face of opposing quarterbacks. He has over 60 total pressures in each of the last two seasons while racking up a total of 49 quarterback hits. Lawrence has been nothing short of dominant the last two years.

View photos of the all-time history of New York Giants in the Pro Bowl.


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