The Giants dealt third- and fifth-round picks to the Jets for defensive lineman Leonard Williams during the 2019 season and then made a deeper investment in the 2015 first-round pick by using the franchise tag on him in March.
General Manager Dave Gettleman called that the “prudent” decision earlier this offseason, but others outside the organization had less positive things to say about the move. Williams only had a half-sack last season and hasn’t been the kind of disruptive playmaker that many envisioned when the Jets made him the sixth overall pick of the draft.
While that’s the past, Giants head coach Joe Judge is looking to the future. He said this week that there’s good material to work with and that it will be up to him and the rest of the staff to make sure that finally shows up on the field.
“I’m very excited about working with Leonard,” Judge said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “He has a tremendous skill set. We have to do a good job of putting him in a position to be successful, we’ve got to push these guys outside their comfort zone. He has the ability. So, we’re going to make sure we push him as hard as we can.”
A breakthrough for Williams would be great news for a defense that needs all the help it can find. Should it fail to materialize, it will be difficult to imagine that one is ever going to come.