Giants Urged to Add ‘Ideal’ 6-Time Pro Bowl Partner for Dexter Lawrence

The 2024 NFL draft is in the books, but defensive line remains a potential weakness for the New York Giants, a problem the team can solve by signing Calais Campbell in free agency to partner with All-Pro nose tackle Dexter Lawrence II.

A six-time Pro Bowler, Campbell is viewed as the “ideal complement to” Lawrence by Dan Duggan of The Athletic. He believes 37-year-old Campbell still has value “as a pass-rushing five-technique defensive end.”

Duggan also referenced Campbell’s one-season stint with the Atlanta Falcons in 2023, when the veteran “played well enough to command compensation this year.” If the Giants don’t agree, Duggan pointed out free-agent lineman “Lawrence Guy could be a cheaper alternative who would be an upgrade over Lawrence’s current supporting cast.”

Both names have merit, but Campbell would offer the Giants greater big-play potential up front by adding more oomph to the pass rush.

Calais Campbell Offers Skills Giants Missing Up Front

Besides Lawrence, the Giants don’t have another credible front-line pass-rusher. Helping himself to 105.5 career sacks shows Campbell has always had the knack for putting heat on the pocket.

He supplemented his tally with 6.5 quarterback takedowns last season. A highlight was his 100th sack in the pros, registered against the Washington Commanders in Week 6.

1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ from the skies

NFL+ pic.twitter.com/cqbXBOqmsg

— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 17, 2023

The play summed up everything great about Campbell’s game. Namely, awesome play strength and a laser-like focus on getting to the quarterback.

He’s showcased those qualities at every stop during a prolific career that’s included stints with the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens. Putting the 6-foot-8, 282-pounder into the lineup with Lawrence would give the Giants another dominant physical specimen capable of bossing the trenches.

Campbell’s arrival would also help fix a persistent and underlying weakness in Big Blue’s defense. It’s an area where another veteran could be a factor.

Dexter Lawrence Needs Help Stopping the Run

Lawrence routinely absorbs and occupies double and even triple-team blocks. Yet, for all the push he creates inside, the Giants still struggle to take advantage and swarm upon running backs.

The Giants allowed 4.7 yards per carry in 2023, one season after surrendering 5.2 yards per attempt on the ground. Campbell has always been a force against the run, but so has fellow free agent Lawrence Guy, a popular choice for the Giants.

Among those who thinks the former Ravens and New England Patriots’ starter is a fit is NorthJersey.com’s Art Stapleton.

I’ve been doing research on DL because I feel like Giants could make another move there.

Can’t believe Linval Joseph is 35, can’t be 🤣

I think Lawrence Guy would be an interesting add.

— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) April 29, 2024

Like Campbell, Guy has the frame to fill running lanes or keep blockers busy long enough for linebackers to attack free lanes of pursuit. The Giants need a natural run-stuffer for the front three after A’Shawn Robinson joined the Carolina Panthers in free agency.

One reinforcement was added, in the form of ex-Buffalo Bills D-tackle Jordan Phillips. Yet, 18 sacks in the last five seasons shows he’s more adept at creating pressure than stuffing the run.

There are other options, like nose tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches and 2022 seventh-round pick Jordon Riley. Both have the bulk inside the Giants need, but neither is as formidable against the run as Campbell or Guy.

Signing either one to a short-term, team-friendly contract would address a critical post-draft need for the Giants. It would also make life easier for Lawrence.

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