With their second round selection in the 2011 Draft, the Giants selected North Carolina DT Marvin Austin. The 6'2 DT will be a welcome addition to the Giants interior defense. We take a closer look at how this rookie may contribute in 2011.
College Career:Austin was outstanding when he was on the field; last year, he was a preseason All-America candidate and was also a member of the Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy and Nagurski Award watch lists. But he did not play in what would have been his senior season in 2010, because he was suspended from the team in early September and later dismissed from the UNC football program in October. his only action in the 2010 season was in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 22. He scored a touchdown by recovering a fumble by quarterback Jerrod Johnson and taking it three yards into the end zone. Austin played in 38 games with 25 starts at North Carolina, recording 106 tackles (59 solo) with nine sacks for minus 76 yards, 13.5 stops for losses totaling 91 yards and 14 quarterback pressures. In 2009, his most recent season, Austin was a second team All-ACC selection. He started the first 11 games at right defensive tackle and also played in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Austin had 42 tackles (22 solo) and tied his career-high with four sacks for minus 40 yards. In 2008, he experienced every defensive lineman's dream when he intercepted a pass by UConn quarterback Zach Frazer and returned the ball 23 yards for a touchdown in a 38-12 win.
Strengths:Austin has the leg and upper body strength to be an outstanding defender against the run and the quickness to be an effective pass rusher. He also has the kind of malevolent demeanor that so many successful defensive linemen possess.
How He Fits In:For the second year in a row, the Giants selected a defensive tackle on the second round of the draft. Last year, it was Linval Joseph, who played in only six games and finished the season with 11 tackles (eight solo). Austin will try to make a bigger impact as a rookie. But his presence creates a crowd in the middle of the defensive front. Barry Cofield and Chris Canty started at tackle for all 16 games last season. Cofield is a potential free agent, depending on the final outcome of the collective bargaining agreement. The Giants also have another veteran in Rocky Bernard. Austin will have to prove that he deserves playing time in that talented rotation.
The Quote:"He is explosive, he is an explosive three-technique (tackle), a gap-charger. This guy can get off the ball with tremendous speed. He has got a nasty motor, (a) mean demeanor about him. He is going to bring that nasty attitude. Somebody described him as Keith Hamilton – not the body type but that nasty demeanor that Keith Hamilton used to play with when we had him here. So I like to have some big nasty guys in your front. I kind of like that." – General Manager Jerry Reese