Former Tennessee Titans defensive tackle sets out to revamp his career with the New York Giants.
Dave Gettleman has always liked collecting talent on the defensive line and over drafting running backs so it isn’t a surprise to see him buying low on Austin Johnson.
Despite being buried on the depth chart over the years behind the likes of Jurrell Casey, Daquan Jones and Jeffery Simmons, in 2016 there were plenty of people that thought Austin Johnson had a chance to sneak into the first round of the draft.
At 6’4, 310+ lb., Johnson had a huge year before leaving college as a junior when he posted 15(!) TFLs and 6.5 sacks. Unsurprisingly, both of those numbers led the Big Ten among defensive tackles and he was just one TFL behind Joey Bosa who has been pretty successful in then NFL.
While stats aren’t everything, it is always much more reassuring to see a guy preform well in college rather than being forced to make a leap of faith.
This is a pretty low risk deal that could reap rewards given his versatility to move around in 3-4 or 4-3 schemes, but that is contingent on the Giants believing that they can pull something out of him that no one has really seen consistently since college.
Either way, this contract will likely define the legacy of Austin Johnson the football player. Was he a one-year wonder in college who was an absolute stud? Or is he a player that the New York Giants came in and completely revamped and who the Tennessee Titans failed to make the most of in his first contract?
Time will tell, but good luck to he and the Giants as they try to figure out how to recreate that 2015 season at the NFL level.