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Giants Now: NFL Network analysts vote LT greatest defensive player of all-time


NFL Network analysts vote LT greatest defensive player of all-time

NFL Network recently asked 10 of its analysts a simple question- "Who are the top three defensive players of all time, as YOU see it?"

Most of the analysts listed many of the same players. Reggie White was a popular choice, as were Aaron Donald and Deion Sanders.

But the one and only name included on all 10 lists, and in the top spot on nine of the 10 lists, was none other than Lawrence Taylor.

"This is a nearly impossible exercise (I had to leave off Joe Greene!) except for my No. 1: unquestionably Lawrence Taylor, who merely changed the outside linebacker position and, in the process, made offensive tackle a premier football position," writes Judy Bautista. "Nobody had any idea how to block Taylor (he was the league's Defensive Player of the Year in each of his first two seasons), and all you need to know about his dominance is that he was the league's MVP in 1986, when he had 20.5 sacks in the Giants' first Super Bowl season -- the last defensive player to win the award."

Taylor was named either First- or Second-Team All-Pro and selected to the Pro Bowl in 10 consecutive seasons, taking home three Defensive Player of the Year awards and one NFL MVP during that stretch. His 142.0 career sacks just narrowly beats Michael Strahan's 141.5 for the most in franchise history.

Here is what a few of the other NFL Network analysts had to say about Taylor's success compared to some of the other all-time defensive greats.

Jeffri Chadiha - "Taylor altered defensive schemes and turned left tackle into a marquee position. The league didn't even keep sacks as an official statistic until he became a dominant force. Edge rushers everywhere owe L.T. plenty."

Brian Baldinger - "L.T. had the perfect combination of speed, power and toughness with an instinct that could take him to the ball faster than anyone else on the field. Every team had to adjust its entire protection scheme to try to corral him. L.T. constantly changed the game."

Chad Reuter - "The phrase 'he changed the game' is thrown around too easily -- but not in the case of L.T. His ability to wreak havoc in the backfield made teams change the way they protected their passers, and he also stopped the run and moved like a safety in coverage. The first true 'edge defender,' Taylor's going to be tough to knock off the top of this mountain."

Adam Rank - "Taylor ... well, he's in the conversation for greatest player in NFL history. He changed the game forever when he came into the league, and there still hasn't been another player like him since."

James Jones - "There's no disputing the best offensive player in NFL history (Tom Brady). If we're all being honest with ourselves, the best defensive player of all time is clear cut as well. It's Lawrence Taylor. It's unheard of for a non-quarterback to win the MVP award, let alone a defensive player. Well, he did it and was a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. He changed the game."

The best photos of Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who was named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team

Leonard Williams, Azeez Ojulari named Giants' best duo

The Giants' defensive line certainly looks like it could be a strength of the team's defense in 2022.

Between Leonard Williams, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari and Dexter Lawrence, Wink Martindale has four talented starters to deploy in his defensive scheme.

CBS Sports' Jeff Kerr recently looked at all 32 rosters across the league and chose each team's most talented duo. The qualifications for his selections were that the players must play on the same side of the ball and must contribute to the team's offensive or defensive success. For the Giants, he went with Williams and Ojulari.

As Kerr writes, "Williams had 43 pressures and 6.5 sacks in 2021 after a career-year with the Giants in 2020, but is still a consistent force off the edge. Ojulari had 38 pressures and eight sacks in his rookie season for the Giants while adding 13 quarterback hits and a forced fumble. The Giants are relying on Ojulari to take the next step in 2022 as the team's top pass rusher. 

"Wink Martindale's scheme is expected to make Ojulari and Williams even better, as the two will be relied upon to consistently get to the quarterback. Those two will be vital toward New York turning its defense around."

Over his last two full seasons with the Giants, Williams has recorded a total of 18.0 sacks and 44 quarterback hits. Meanwhile, Ojulari set a new franchise rookie record with his 8.0 sacks in 2021.

View the best photos from mandatory minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Giants sign WR Keelan Doss, waive LB T.J. Brunson

The Giants made a roster move on Friday as they signed wide receiver Keelan Doss and waived linebacker T.J. Brunson.

Doss had been with the Giants on a tryout basis for their minicamp last week. In nine career games with the Raiders, the 26-year-old receiver has 11 receptions for 133 yards.

Brunson was a seventh-round pick by the Giants back in 2020. In five games during his rookie season, he registered three combined tackles. Brunson tore his ACL in the team's first preseason game last year, which led to him being placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Check out the gallery below to view the Giants' updated roster in photos.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2022 roster as it currently stands.


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