‘Top Free Agent’ Defender Visiting Giants on Monday: Report

A'Shawn Robinson

Getty A'Shawn Robinson (No. 94) celebrates with his former teammate Michael Brockers during a 2020 regular season game against the Arizona Cardinals. Robinson has gone from 330 to 300-pounds before the 2021 season, he revealed to reporters on June 2.

Another big body could be on its way to Big Blue this offseason.

The New York Giants will host defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson for a free agent visit on Monday, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. 

Robinson played three seasons with the Rams after his first four with the Lions. The 6-foot-4, 330-pounder was a second-round pick out of Alabama in 2016, playing alongside fellow future NFLers Da’Ron Payne, Dalvin Tomlinson, Raekwon Davis, and Da’Shawn Hand. 

He’s the 27th-best free agent still available for teams to sign, according to NFL.com writer Gregg Rosenthal’s updated rankings. He’s also the second defensive lineman linked to the Giants this offseason; Rakeem Nunez-Roches signed a three-year deal with the team this week. 

Here’s what to know about Robinson before he visits Big Blue:

Stopping the Run

In 93 career games, Robinson has tallied seven sacks and five forced fumbles. He signed with the Rams in 2020, notching 6 tackles and a sack in their win over the Bengals in the 2022 Super Bowl.

Robinson wouldn’t join the Giants because of his pass-rushing ability, though.

He’s “one of best run defenders in the league,” according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. With Robinson and all-everything defensive tackle Aaron Donald up front, ESPN analytics said the Rams’ had the third-highest run stop win percentage in 2022. And before his season-ending knee injury in Week 11, Robinson had 20 tackles for loss, according to Rams team reporter Stu Jackson.

New York could certainly use that kind of talent up front.

Only five teams — the Texans, Bears, Seahawks, Lions, and Chargers — allowed more rushing yards than the Giants defense in 2022. In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Patricia Traina, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale likened last year’s run defense to leaky dam.

No one should be shocked about general manager Joe Schoen’s two-word diagnosis on run defense at the 2023 NFL Combine: “Not great”

“That’s a premium position,” Schoen told reporters in Indianapolis. “We gotta be better next year stopping the run. I think some of that is our depth where Dexter (Lawrence) doesn’t have to play the amount of snaps he played or Leo (Leonard Williams) doesn’t have to be out there as much as he was out there. That’s important, not only there but we have to improve the depth across the board.”

Schoen’s process has already begun by adding Nunez-Roches. It could take another big leap by placing Robinson in rotation with Lawrence and Williams, too. 

Other Options Up Front

Spotrac.com predicts Robinson will command a three-year, $24 million contract this offseason.

If that $8 million annual price tag is too high for Schoen, there are plenty of other run-stuffing free options still on the free agent market.

Those option include Shelby Harris, Michael Brockers, Linval Joseph, Chris Wormley, Greg Gaines, and Johnathan Hankins.

Don’t be shocked if the team addresses that position as high as the first round in the 2023 NFL Draft, according to these tweets from NJ.com Giants reporter Art Stapleton.

The draft’s most prized interior lineman, Georgia’s Jalen Carter, isn’t expected to be on the board when the Giants pick at No. 25 overall. Carter was picked ninth overall to the Bears in Pro Football Focus’ latest 2023 Mock Draft.

But after that, PFF predicts names like Pitt’s Calijah Kancey, Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore, Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benson, and Clemson’s Bryan Bresee all on the board for New York in the first round. 

One later-round draft option is Coastal Carolina’s Jerrod Clark. Big Blue is projected to take Clark with the 128th overall pick in Heavy’s seven-round Giants mock draft. 

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