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Is Dexter Lawrence the best Giants interior DL you've seen?

BigBlueBuff : 1/18/2023 12:49 am
I'm 51, so while he was on the TV I am too young to remember John Mendenhall. The first Giants NT I remember was Jerome Salley in the early Parcells' era. In my memory I can't recall an interior DL on the Giants better than Dexter was this season.

Here are some names to consider: Leonard Williams, Damon "Snacks" Harrison, Linval Joseph, Chris Canty, Fred Robbins, Keith Hamilton, Erik Howard, and Jim Burt. If you want, throw in some 3-4 ends like Leonard Marshall and George Martin.

What'cha got BBI?
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Hammer had the better career so far ...  
FStubbs : 1/18/2023 8:47 am : link
... but I don't remember him being as dominant as Lawrence has been this year.

Snacks? Snacks wishes he ever had a season like this one and was really only good for us in 2016.
For the old timers who remember  
joe48 : 1/18/2023 8:48 am : link
Back in the early 60’s the first dominant interior defensive lineman with great agility was Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb. He was 6’ 6” and close to 300 lbs. He played for Rams, Colts and Steelers. He was fast,agile and dominant. He lasted 10 years until his lifestyle caused his death.
RE: He is so rare as a player I think it’s hard to even find someone to  
Giantimistic : 1/18/2023 8:48 am : link
In comment 16000223 BSIMatt said:
Compare him to, what he is doing is so unbelievably uncommon. To see a big long limbed 340+ man not only move like that, but just rag doll guys and seemingly never tire with this insane motor. I said it in another thread but what he was doing to Bradbury(and Nelson from Colts not long ago) is stuff Reggie White used to do to guys. The only other guy I remember doing stuff like that to guys routinely was Albert Haynesworth, and he did not have Dex’s motor/movement fluidity.

His season stacks up well with Haynesworths best season as a pro and when Haynesworth was on he was dominant. I went back through the all pro teams for 15 seasons trying to find a guy that produced like Dex and the only 2 in his ballpark were Haynesworth in 2007/2008 and Ngata back in the day…but Ngata’s best seasons didn’t touch what Dex did this year. The most QB hits Ngata ever had in a year was 14, the most Haynesworth ever had was 22 in his apex year. Dex put up 28 this year to go along with over 60 tackles which is just stunning…Haynesworth did that in his 7th year in the league, the scary part is Dex is just hitting his prime.

I think his comparison is Vince Wilfork.
RE: RE: He is so rare as a player I think it’s hard to even find someone to  
Ten Ton Hammer : 1/18/2023 8:51 am : link
In comment 16000355 Giantimistic said:

I think his comparison is Vince Wilfork.

Probably closest. There's very little comp in history for a true Nose Tackle doing what he's doing at his size and playing an unprecedentedly high percentage of defensive plays.
I think  
Eric from BBI : Admin : 1/18/2023 8:53 am : link
allstarjam hit the nail on the head. In the Giants' old 3-4, you could argue that LT was basically a 4-3 DE and Marshall was the DT. So Leonard Marshall comes the closest.

But Leonard didn't play over the nose.

BigBlueBuff....this is a great question. You could seriously argue that Dexter is the best NT the Giants have had in memory (albeit he has to do it for more than one year to really make a name for himself).
Banks : 1/18/2023 9:04 am : link
I was too young to have fully appreciated Marshall. For me Hamilton was easily tops. He could do it all. I don't recall the stats anymore, but our run defense was over a yard per carry worse when he was out. He was so dominant in 2000 even though they tried to call holding on him all the time
i wonder what it would be like if Dex were allowed to hit the QB  
markky : 1/18/2023 9:14 am : link
the way Burt lit up Montana
I go back far enough to say  
redwhiteandbigblue : 1/18/2023 9:16 am : link
I saw both Marshall, Mendenhall and prior. We can debate how the position has changed over the years and yes Mendenhall was terrific but shined on terrible teams and Burt was an overachiever. Marshall benefited from LT, etc.etc.etc. IMO as far as play after play, Dex is easily the most dominant.
best I've seen since the mid to late eighties  
KDavies : 1/18/2023 9:22 am : link
interesting to see some old-timers agreeing he's the best they've seen
Wilfork as far as a massive beastly presence that could just maul  
BSIMatt : 1/18/2023 9:23 am : link
People yes, and Wilfork was incredibly nimble.

Wilfork couldn’t touch what Lawrence has done this season rushing the passer, not in the same stratosphere. He’s the best XXL pass rusher I’ve ever seen, Giants or otherwise.
I haven't seen many nose tackles  
AcesUp : 1/18/2023 9:38 am : link
Have the type of season that Lawrence had this year. Even the best ones just eat up double teams and give you some push up the middle in the passing game. You don't see many guys getting in QBs faces within seconds of the snap from the A gap. He's wrecking games.
To put it in perspective, JPPs 2011 performance  
BSIMatt : 1/18/2023 9:53 am : link
Was one of the finest and most dominant performances by a Giants defensive player that I’ve ever seen(LT is in his own class as we all know).

JPP was a freak among freaks with a motor second to nobody that year, he hit quarterbacks 28 times that season. Dex hit quarterbacks 28 times this season playing with the same motor…it is hard to fathom.
Keith Hamilton was really good and really underrated  
Greg from LI : 1/18/2023 10:09 am : link
But he never had a season like the one Lawrence just had. Few DTs have.
RE: For his size  
eli4life : 1/18/2023 10:10 am : link
In comment 16000227 gidiefor said:
He is the fastest, most athletic and dominant specimen in combination that I’ve ever seen.

It’s almost unholy. As a big man myself I have to say I wish I could move like him when I was skinny
I will also say that Erik Howard is unjustly overlooked  
Greg from LI : 1/18/2023 10:11 am : link
His career was plagued by injuries but, when he was healthy, he was a beast.
Hamilton finished 4th in DPOY and 2nd team All-Pro in '00  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 1/18/2023 10:38 am : link
that was for the 5th ranked defense and big man had 10 sacks that year too. That's the last season a Giants DT has had comparable to this one. It's hard to remember but I feel like Lawrence has been even better than Hamilton. At Lawrence's size, he's a 1 of 1 force in the league right now from the NT position.

JPP in 2011 is the best Giants defensive season in the last 15/20 years that I remember, atleast since Strahan's DPOY season. But I don't recall JPP being as consistently dominant as Dex. A lot of JPP's greatness that year was due to pure effort and hustle. He wasn't consistently overwhelming opposing OLs the way Dex currently is imo. What Dex has done this year has been special.
At nose, it's hard to think of anyone better from the Giants  
widmerseyebrow : 1/18/2023 10:43 am : link
In fact, it's hard to think of many in the history of the NFL that can move like that at that size. We've all seen dominant space takers at that size, but Dex can penetrate and move down the sideline. It is something to behold.
It’s gushing at this point…but it has to be acknowledged  
BSIMatt : 1/18/2023 10:54 am : link
I still feel like this guy is somehow flying under the radar. I know the players know it, I remember Aaron Rodgers making it a point to let the reporters know that the Giants had some dudes on the other side of the ball and he singled out Dex.

And at some point you have to trust what your eyes show you, and I remember a play versus the Vikings where he left his feet to dive and hit Cousins. He didn’t hop or fall down, he literally got horizontal with the ground and he might have flown right over a guard that was on the ground, it was absolutely ridiculous and for a moment it seemed like the laws of physics simply did not apply to him. Incredible play and I don’t think it was one that even counted in the stat sheet.
he/s the best NT ive seen since wilfork  
Eric on Li : 1/18/2023 10:58 am : link
so yes.
He's the best in my years of watching  
JerrysKids : 1/18/2023 11:01 am : link
the Giants. Burt, Leonard Marshall, Keith Hamilton, were all very good but not at this level.
Mendenhall may still be my favorite Giant even today  
PatersonPlank : 1/18/2023 11:02 am : link
but he never had the season that Dex is having.

I'm hard pressed to think of a guy who played this well, and I am trying because I hate "recency bias". Marshall was really good, but as stated above it was a slightly different position. Plus he played in from of LT which really helped him out. Dex is playing in front of a new guy from off the street every week
I've been watching since 1970.  
81_Great_Dane : 1/18/2023 11:02 am : link
Loved Mendenhall, Hamilton, Marshall, all the guys above.

Dex plays a different game than any of them. I don't remember the Giants ever having a nose tackle who was such a threat to collapse the pocket. They have had great up-the-middle pass rush before but usually by the DT eating blockers and a linebacker or stunt come in behind them. Dex just manhandles guys, no stunt necessary.

He's kind of a unicorn in my view.
Dexy is a gamewrecker  
Spiciest Memelord : 1/18/2023 11:07 am : link
I really don't know what I would want to face less than a 350 lb NT pushing around centers like a Walmart shopping cart. And no not those old shopping carts with the sticky wheel that's hard to move and spins around in circles, I'm talking a brand new Walmart shopping cart.
RE: Keith Hamilton was really good and really underrated  
Banks : 1/18/2023 11:11 am : link
In comment 16000453 Greg from LI said:
But he never had a season like the one Lawrence just had. Few DTs have.

I'd put his 2000 season above Dex's, but that's me. As pointed out he finished 4th in DPOY. He was really unstoppable that year
RE: I grew  
Spiciest Memelord : 1/18/2023 11:24 am : link
In comment 16000224 darren in pdx said:
up with the Hammer, he was a beast in his prime. Giants have had a number of solid DTs over the years since him, but Dex is probably having the best season since Snacks in ‘16. Better coaching and playing his best position (why did two staffs not play him where he belongs!?) has unleashed his full potential.

Dexy has a big fat well rounded spider chart, up there with anybody. It was kind of a too smart for your own good move to put him on the edge but makes some sort of sense I guess.

Not as much sense as lining up directly in front of a QB and 700+ lbs barelling a center straight towards the QB's lap.
I guess I didn't realize that he was 4th in DPOY  
Greg from LI : 1/18/2023 11:28 am : link
It's been 22 years, perhaps I'm underselling Hamilton's 2000. Still, I remember him as more of a supporting player behind Strahan and Armstead as the headliners.

Odd - he was 4th in the AP's POY voting but only in their 2nd team All Pro.
Early in the season, I thought Dex was Wilfork 2.0  
Heisenberg : 1/18/2023 11:31 am : link
But he's been actually better. Wilfork never could push the pocket and get sacks like Dex has. He's really the ideal nose tackle. I can't think of another who had the combination of being immovable in the run game and could also collapse the pocket with the regularity he does. You can't even compare him to Donald, who is really an elite pass rusher who can also handle playing inside every down (like imagine if the best of Justin Tuck could always stay inside and also hold up for 9 years). That's not Dex. He's playing like the absolute blueprint for the Nose Tackle. Like he was created in a laboratory to cause centers and guards nightmares.

Hamilton was the best DL in my lifetime as a fan and he's not nearly as dominant as Dex. Not really even close.

Which brings me back to Judge. Why the hell did they play him at DE lol? WTF?
Andre Patterson  
CornerStone246+17 : 1/18/2023 11:35 am : link
Has got Dex mastering hand fighting and leverage in coordination with his tremendously powerul leg drive. It is absolutely destroying IOL right now. I don't think I have ever seen this kind of level of just obliterating the guy in front of you like this from the interior. At least not on this team.
Lawrence is definitely reaching the point  
Spiciest Memelord : 1/18/2023 11:58 am : link
where you start thinking you need to create a new higher league for him, like Mariano Rivera. And instead of GMs asking "Find me the next Lawrence Taylor!" they are now saying "Find me the next Dexter Lawrence!"
RE: Lawrence is definitely reaching the point  
Greg from LI : 1/18/2023 12:18 pm : link
In comment 16000745 Spiciest Memelord said:
where you start thinking you need to create a new higher league for him, like Mariano Rivera. And instead of GMs asking "Find me the next Lawrence Taylor!" they are now saying "Find me the next Dexter Lawrence!"

OK, now you're being silly. Relax, eat a sandwich, drink a glass of milk, do some fucking thing, but don't compare anyone to LT.
Dex is in the middle of a tremendous season  
JonC : 1/18/2023 12:31 pm : link
but it's still just one season, he needs to repeat it year in and out before he's in the larger convo for me. On the basis of one season he's way up there, top 3 in the 40+ years I've watched the Giants.
One point worth mentioning about Hamilton:  
Big Blue Blogger : 1/18/2023 12:36 pm : link
He was very good for a long time. He was excellent as a 22-year-old 3-4 DE, and superb as a 29-year-old 4-3 DT. And when he was 31, as injuries were rapidly finishing him, his absence was a big reason the defense fell apart in the playoff game in San Francisco.
Greg with the Midnight Run quote.  
Big Blue Blogger : 1/18/2023 12:42 pm : link
Well done.

I had a celebrity encounter with the late, great Dennis Farina. He was enjoying brunch in the sidewalk cafe section of Nice Matin when I passed by on Amsterdam Avenue. I stopped briefly and said, "Sir, I really enjoy your work. Thank you." He gave me an indifferent little nod and a slight smirk that said, "You better move along or I'm gonna stab you through the heart with a fuckin' pencil. Do you understand me?"

I loved that guy.
best I have seen in 40 plus years...  
AG5686 : 1/18/2023 12:48 pm : link
Leonard Marshall was an absolute beast and perhaps gets overshadowed by all the LB talent that surrounded him.
It is possible....that if you could switch them in terms of era played and defensive scheme that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Keith Hamilton  
Kmed6000 : 1/18/2023 12:54 pm : link
was an amazingly underrated player. He was a brickwall in the middle of that defense and a massive part of our run stuffing ability. He doesn't have the skillset and high end talent that Lawrence has, but Lawrence also hasn't done it for 10 years like Hamilton did.
You know who gets completely overlooked?  
Greg from LI : 1/18/2023 1:15 pm : link
Fred Robbins. Not quite in the Hamilton/Lawrence echelon but an excellent player who no one really ever talks about.
I'd put Lawrence up there with Marshall and Hamilton,  
Del Shofner : 1/18/2023 1:24 pm : link
which is to say very high. That's treating Marshall and Hamilton as interior DL. As a true NT, though, I'd say Lawrence is the best. Jim Burt was great but he was 6'1", 260 lbs. Lawrence is substantially bigger and more powerful than Burt was. That play against the Colts was amazing.
Rosey Grier  
clatterbuck : 1/18/2023 1:28 pm : link
was a great player of that era and we've had some good, really good, and a few great ones since then -- Burt, Howard, Mendenhall, Hamilton, Marshall. But I've never seen anything like Dexter Lawrence and I've been a devoted fan since the mid 1950's.
I've been watching since the early 80's,  
WestCoastGFan : 1/18/2023 1:29 pm : link
so I don't have the perspective of some of the posters here, but in my 40+ years watching, I have NEVER seen a DT/NT DOMINATE the guy in front of him as much as Dex. He is fork-lifting, sleigh-riding 300lb+ grown men like tackling dummies. The most physically dominating NT I have ever seen.
I kind of remember Hamilton run back either a fumble or int  
WestCoastGFan : 1/18/2023 1:37 pm : link
back for a TD when he was a JR at Pitt. I was ecstatic when we drafted him in the 4th round. I knew we got a steal.
ryanmkeane : 1/18/2023 1:55 pm : link
having Leo next to him really helps. He had shit around him for his first couple years.
Let's not forget about Bill Neil  
TroutMan : 1/18/2023 1:57 pm : link
He had 5.5 sacks his rookie year in 1981.
Tore up his knee in his second year.
He was a monster.

Leonard Marshall was really good, so was Mendenhall but Sexy Dexy is on a unbelievable roll.
He is living up to his pre draft ceiling of total domination.
Go Giants!
RE: Dex is unreal  
Gatorade Dunk : 1/18/2023 2:10 pm : link
In comment 16000305 Rjanyg said:
We have to keep in mind that this is a very different defense than any defense the Giants have played. This hybrid defense with Wink has moved Dex to the 1 Tech which has him at his natural position. In years past they had Dex playing the 3 tech with Williams at the 5 and Johnson or Tomlinson at the 1.

Dex is destroying centers and guards and double teams. He is equally devastating against the run or pass.

He is the best and the position move is a huge reason why.

It remains one of life's great mysteries that not one, but two Giants coaching staffs (with two different DCs) insisted on playing Dex somewhere other than NT.
RE: Early in the season, I thought Dex was Wilfork 2.0  
Gatorade Dunk : 1/18/2023 2:12 pm : link
In comment 16000668 Heisenberg said:
Which brings me back to Judge. Why the hell did they play him at DE lol? WTF?

It's not just Judge (and Graham). Shurmur (and Bettcher) did the same thing.

It makes no sense, and it never did.
RE: ...  
Gatorade Dunk : 1/18/2023 2:15 pm : link
In comment 16000980 ryanmkeane said:
having Leo next to him really helps. He had shit around him for his first couple years.

The Giants traded for Leonard Williams during Dex's rookie year.

You're just making shit up, as usual.
RE: I guess I didn't realize that he was 4th in DPOY  
BC Eagles94 : 1/18/2023 2:25 pm : link
In comment 16000654 Greg from LI said:
It's been 22 years, perhaps I'm underselling Hamilton's 2000. Still, I remember him as more of a supporting player behind Strahan and Armstead as the headliners.

Odd - he was 4th in the AP's POY voting but only in their 2nd team All Pro.

Completely agree.
hammer in 2000 was an absolute all pro  
Eric on Li : 1/18/2023 2:31 pm : link
but just by virtue of size i remember that year a lot more like leonard williams career year a few years ago. probably better against the pass than dex was and solid against the run, but not as dominant as dex has been this year just completely caving in the interior OL.

he's tossed guys around all game like wilfork (and very few others) used to.
Leonard Marshall IMO should be  
LauderdaleMatty : 1/18/2023 2:38 pm : link
In the HOF air gotten some consideration. Really just a fucking monster.

But he really wasn’t an interior DT. If Dexter keeps this up he will wearing a gold jacket. He was the best DT In the NFL this year. Period. And there should be no reason he won’t keep it up. So year. Best ever. He wasn’t bad his first two years. Just utterly misused.

Also Erik Howard was very good ashen he replaced Burt.
And remember that ridiculous roughing call just a few plays earlier...  
WestCoastGFan : 1/18/2023 3:07 pm : link
You know Dex got in Cousins head on that 4th down throw. He knew his time was up and had to get rid of it.
Troy Archer  
Thegratefulhead : 1/18/2023 3:26 pm : link
Was much smaller but in 1977 he showed a ton of promise at age 22 from RDT. 10.5 sacks in 14 games.
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