The New York Giants have a lot of areas in which they need to improve in 2014, and right near the top of that list — albeit below turnovers and the offensive line — is the defensive line.
Having lost both Justin Tuck (Oakland Raiders) and Linval Joseph (Minnesota Vikings), that problem now appears compounded for Big Blue. Couple that with the lingering question marks about Jason Pierre-Paul's health and Damontre Moore's development, and it would seem to be, at least on paper, a tall order.
However, that's not to say the Giants don't have talent on the d-line — they absolutely do. In fact, that have an abundance of young talent and now the veteran presence of not only Mathias Kiwanuka and Cullen Jenkins, but Robert Ayers as well. That's why Matt Miller, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, listed Big Blue's defensive line as No. 12 overall in his recent NFL defensive line power rankings.
It wasn't that long ago when the New York Giants had a defensive line that every NFL offense feared. Today, that's not as much the case, but this group has a chance to silence the critics. To do that, it'll have to stay healthy.
Jason Pierre-Paul must be the anchor of this group, and he has that potential if he can stay on the field for 16 games. The pickup of Robert Ayers is very underrated, and he can be the third pass-rusher this defense needs.
At tackle the team needs Johnathan Hankins to live up to his potential, and many eyes will be on him as he steps into the starting role.
The one player Miller failed to mention was defensive tackle Markus Kuhn, who arrived for offseason workouts in tremendous shape and then made equally tremendous strides on the field. And while Hankins is considered the shoe-in starter next to Jenkins, Kuhn's resurgence promises to make that an interesting training camp battle.
For what it's worth, Miller listed the St. Louis Rams' defensive line as No. 1 overall.
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