When the New York Giants opened the door at rookie minicamp on Friday afternoon, there was absolutely no missing defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who joined the team as the No. 17 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
At a shade over 6-foot-4 and 342 pounds, Lawrence is a freakishly massive human being, but as it turns out, he’s quite humble and soft spoken.
During his brief press conference with the media, Lawrence discussed his ability to play all three positions along the defensive line and his desire to be an all-around game-wrecker for the Giants, effectively setting a new standard for the defensive line.
“I grew up a fan. Coming here kind of gave me a little more motivation because of the standard is here,” Lawrence said, raising his hand high over his head. “You’ve got to try to beat that standard pretty much, or be better than that standard.
“So, that’s one of my goals as I’m here. Break the standard. All of these great d-linemen have come through here and did their thing. I think it always starts up front. Let’s make the job of the back seven easy.”
It’s not just about setting a new standard for Lawrence, but rekindling the dominance of the Giants’ once feared and ferocious defense.
“I grew up a fan here. I always wanted to play here just because of the history. The history is great. Got to bring that tradition back,” Lawrence said.
Like quarterback Daniel Jones, there’s some skepticism floating around Lawrence, not to mention the added pressure of joining the Giants as a final result of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. But like Jones, Lawrence is just brushing it all off and focusing on the task at hand.
If first impression mean anything, both Jones and Lawrence hit it out of the park on Friday.