Under-the-Radar Giant ‘Could Have Big Impact’ on NY’s Defense

Giants' RJ McIntosh could have big impact on NY's defense in 2020

Getty B.J. Hill #95 and R.J. McIntosh #90 of the New York Giants

It’s pretty well renowned that the New York Giants‘ strongest position group is by far their defensive line. Put your feelings of Leonard Williams’ paycheck aside for just a moment, and you’ll quickly realize that your “franchise player” being arguably the third-best player along his unit is actually a positive in terms of communitive talent. 

The talented group headlined by Williams, as well as rising sophomore Dexter Lawrence and unheralded star Dalvin Tomlinson, will spearhead a Giants front-seven looking to make major noise in the NFC East this season. However, that group may be adding another name in the near future, as a vastly more under-the-radar player is hoping to make a “big impact” along Big Blue’s defensive line in 2020.

R.J. McIntosh Ready to Take Off in Year 3?

R.J. McIntosh entered the NFL in 2018 as an extremely raw, yet tantalizing 5th-round prospect out of the University of Miami. Two years into his pro career, and he’s failed to fully tap into the potential that had Draft experts believing he would develop into a “valuable player” in the league.

With that said, McIntosh’s late-season play in 2019 was enough for Giants Wire to peg the former 2nd-Team All-ACC selection as an under-the-radar player ready to make a significant impact for the G-Men in 2020.

Defensive Lineman R.J. McIntosh

Some may see R.J. McIntosh’s name here and wonder how much impact he could possibly have playing behind Leonard Williams, B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson and possibly even offseason addition Austin Johnson, but don’t sleep on him.

McIntosh really began to come into his own over the second half of last season, finishing the year with 15 tackles and two sacks on just 114 defensive snaps.

With so many capable bodies along the defensive line, the Giants should feature a rotation that will see McIntosh receive more snaps.

Is McIntosh NY’s Answer to Giants’ Pass-Rushing Woes?

Not exactly. Promising edge-rushers Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter, as well as free-agent Kyler Fackrell, will be relied upon to do the majority of the heavy lifting in the pass-rushing department.

In reality, McIntosh lacks the type of frame you would prefer from an every-down defensive tackle. However, his speed and length, matched with his position flexibility make him an intriguing rotational player for New York.

New York’s starting defensive line will almost certainly once again lack in sack production this coming season. Leonard Williams is better than most people give him credit for, but let’s face it, if you think he’s going to have a sudden surge in sack numbers, your sadly mistaken. McIntosh on the other hand, has a history of living in offense’s backfields. During his final two seasons at Miami, McIntosh compiled an impressive 22 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller spoke glowingly of McIntosh’s pass-rushing traits coming out of college. Noting that his “first-step quickness is highly disruptive from an interior position” and that “he has all of the short-area burst that teams want to see.” Miller did, however, point to McIntosh’s lack of thickness as a major concern moving forward.

However, in Patrick Graham’s multi-look front, McIntosh’s somewhat undersized frame may actually work to his advantage, as New York can now tap into the defender’s position flexibility and move him up and down the line, putting McIntosh in the best position to succeed.