Dalvin Tomlinson, the Giants’ second-year defensive tackle, moved into the starting lineup after his rookie season’s rotation role and took right to it.
Tomlinson has a taste for the dirty work, but he’s also got more mobility than you would think. Though his movement skills haven’t yet translated into his pass rush game, Tomlinson showed more than enough speed to surf the line of scrimmage, stay on his feet, and make plays outside of his area.
By season’s end, he had developed into the defensive line’s best 1-technique guy, meaning he lines up between the center and guard and works hard to maintain control of that gap while navigating the chaos.
He was able to consistently play off his man, flow to the ball, and control the cutback too. He’s not yet a dominating presence, but he’s already a positive player.
Tomlinson did have a bit of a hiccup when Damon Harrison was traded, and he had to take on a more significant role, which seemed to overwhelm him for a little while, which could be why the team added Dexter Lawrence to take on that role moving forward.
Playing in a newly-installed defensive scheme didn’t make things any easier for his development. However, he played perhaps his best three games of the year to finish the season, setting himself up for an even better 2019.
Tomlinson’s pass rush remains a work very much in progress.
We’d like to see him pick his spots better and shoot those gaps, something which game experience and recognition will help him to do. He’s got more than enough of a burst to get through those gaps if he attacks them hard.
For some reason, Tomlinson doesn’t have a bull rush, but his quicks and mobility are legit. Tomlinson is a core player and still has two years left on his rookie contract and can still be very much a part of this defense moving forward.