Damon Harrison, a free agent pickup in 2016, and Hankins were quite the formidable tandem inside for the Giants last season. It was damn near impossible for teams to run the ball between the tackles with those two monsters clogging things up.
Both of those guys also provided more pass-rush pressure than you might think if you didn't watch the Giants play much. Hankins ended up with three sacks. Harrison ended up with two and a half of his own. That's not too shabby for two guys who are both listed at 320 pounds or more in the media guide.
It’s going to take a lot for whoever it is that steps into Hankins' spot to keep the defense rolling like nothing has changed, but I believe Jay Bromley is just the guy to do that.
Bromley is going into his fourth season. In his first three seasons, he was primarily a backup. He did get four starts in his second season, 2015, and I don't think it’s any coincidence that it was also the most productive season of his career so far.
Bromley is a big guy, standing 6'3 and listed at 314 pounds. What impressed me most about his film last year was how good he was at controlling one blocker, then coming off and making the tackle.
If he was single blocked, Bromley would get good extension with his arms and knock the offensive lineman back until he could control him and escape off the block to wherever the ball carrier was.
If he was double teamed or scoop blocked, Bromley would focus on trying to control one of the blockers and then, when the other blocker eventually eventually went up to the second level, he was very adept at expanding and getting back in position to fill his gap and even make the play at times.
His skill set is a perfect fit for how the Giants want to play inside, according to how they did last year. He knows how to occupy more than one gap without losing the gap he originally lined up in. On occasion, Bromley has also shown the ability to get good push as a pass rusher on early downs.
Aaron Donald he isn't, but for a guy with one career sack, I would say that Bromley getting four or more sacks this year, like I think he will, would qualify as a big deal.
When a big time player leaves a team it provides someone else the opportunity to step up and replace them. I think Bromley is going to do a damn good job making people forget Hankins left his year. That's why I chose him as the Giants’ breakout player of 2017.