Giants 2022 UFA Primer DL Austin Johnson
Giants 2022 UFA Primer DL Austin Johnson
Height: 64Weight: 314 lbs.Age: 27NFL Exp.: 6 YearsCollege: Penn StateDefensive tackle Austin Johnson was signed to a Walt Weiss Jersey
one-year deal by the New York Giants on March 30, 2020, after he departed from the Tenne see Titans in free agency.Johnson spent his first four NFL seasons with the Titans, who drafted him in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2016 Draft. In that span, he played in 58 regular-season games (13 starts) and five postseason games (one start), meaning he came to the Giants with valuable experience as a defensive lineman. He also came without mi sing a single game in the previous three seasons, a trend hes continued with the Giants (hasnt mi sed a game since signing his initial deal with the team).In his first season with New York as a defensive reserve, Johnsons numbers were lighter than his previous three years, with Tenne see notching 18 total tackles (eight solos), one sack, and one forced fumble. He followed up that debut with an increased role in the defense and a career-best season in year two. Johnson leaves the 2021 season holding a combined 90 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one recovery in the two years.In March 2021, a year after his first deal, the Giants re-signed Johnson to another one-year contract for this past season.Entering the 2021 season, Johnson earned himself a starting spot in the Giants defensive line and returned the favor with the best regular-season performance of his career.Playing in all 17 games for Big Blue, the fifth consecutive year hes played an entire season, the Penn State alum tallied 72 tackles (career-high), 3.5 sacks (also a high), and a fumble recovery. He also had six tackles for lo s, seven quarterback hits, and one pa s deflected. The numbers helped him finish fifth in the Giants defense in tackles and second among defensive linemen (only Leonard Williams did better, posting 81 tackles).Johnsons best game of the season came in Week 5 in Dallas, a 44-20 lo s to the Cowboys, where the 6-foot-4 defensive tackle had four tackles (three solos), one sack Catfish Hunter Jersey
for nine yards, two tackles for lo s, and one quarterback hit on Dak Prescott. Scroll to ContinueTwo weeks earlier, Johnson had a five-tackle, one-sack, one tackle for lo s, and one quarterback hit game against the Atlanta Falcons, a 17-14 lo s that came on the hands of his defensive unit and their miscues in crunch time.He had three gamesWeek 4, 6, and 14, respectivelywhere he hit six tackles, a season-high.Giants 2022 UFA Primer: TE Evan Engram1 / 10Retaining Johnson for the 2022 season would mean the Giants have one of their best pa s rushers back for another year and one who, well, who knows how dangerous he can become in Wink Martindales new defensive system?In 2021, Johnson finished second in sacks (behind only Williams), third in sack yardage (23.5), tied for second in tackles for lo s, and fifth in quarterback hits. He was part of a core of newer Giants playersincluding linebackers Azeez Ojulari and Quincy Rochethat dominated in the backfield and accounted for 14 of the teams 34 sacks and 19 of their 79 tackles for lo s. Tack on Williams, the Giants' best veteran pa s rusher, and the Giants could at least Jed Lowrie Jersey
boast a group of bullish players that helped them finish in the middle of the NFL in pa sing defense.Given he can punish offensive lines and pre Khris Davis Jersey
sure the quarterback, Johnson may also get better in Martindales system. The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator is a blitz-heavy coach whose Ravens units have ranked among the highest in the league in that area. If he has watched the tape to see Johnsons potential, Martindale may vouch for the team to bring him back so he can turn him into one of the leagues best pa s rushers.The only concern with this pairing is if it affects Johnsons actual statistics despite all the blitzing. While Martindales groups have always been blitz-heavy, theyve ranked middle of the pack in sacking the quarterback. From 2018-2021, the Ravens defenses were ranked 11th, 21st, 14th, and 23rd in sacks and also ranked dead-last in pa sing yards allowed, not a solid testimony to finishing off the quarterback on the blitz.While he was undoubtedly efficient against the pa sing game, Johnson saw himself struggle to defend against opposing run games. He was part of a Giants defensive line that allowed 492 rushing attempts (24th in the NFL), 2,193 yards (25th), and 4.5 yards per rushing play (22nd).Without the likes of Blake Martinez (who mi sed most of the season with an ACL tear) and Dalvin Tomlinson (left to join the Minnesota Vikings in free agency last year), Johnson and the defensive line fell victim to bulldozing from double team rushers that often ran comfortably up to the second line of defense or farther before being stopped Matt Joyce Jersey
for a significant gain.If fully healthy, Martinez will probably return next year to provide reinforcements in the trenches. Still, the woeful rush defense by Johnson and company is something that will undoubtedly be earmarked for improvement in 2022.Austin Johnson made good strides in his second season with the Giants, and one would like to think that will continue under the guidance of Martindale next year. Suppose the Giants can get him to sign a reasonable deal that supports their cap space (Johnson played for $1.5 million in 2021). In that case, the defensive tackle is worth bringing back to maintain some consistency on the front four and bolster the teams pa s rush that may be a focal point of their defense come September.