South Carolina’s Kelcy Quarles (6’3”, 297 pounds) played in 35 games, with 28 starts, in three seasons. Over that time, he recorded 105 tackles (66 solo), 13.0 sacks, 23.5 tackles for a loss and eight quarterback pressures.
Last season, he posted 9.5 sacks in 11 games to lead the Gamecocks—including this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney (Houston)—in that category.
In what I’ve been able to see of him on tape, he plays with a nonstop motor, has a quick first step and uses his hands well to disengage from blockers. He also seems to have good size and quickness, and is relentless in getting after the ball.
B/R's Ryan Lownes, in his scouting report on Quarles, notes that most of the defender's sacks were of the coverage variety, and that Quarles "lacks the anchor strength to hold up to double-teams and take on two-gapping responsibilities."
As I’ve noted in other analyses I’ve done for B/R, the Giants have four defensive tackles on the roster with NFL experience: projected starters Cullen Jenkins and Johnathan Hankins, and reserves Markus Kuhn and Mike Patterson. Jenkins and Patterson are 33 and 30 years old, respectively.
Patterson is on a one-year contract; Jenkins is on year two of a three-year contract.
See where I’m going?
While there’s no reason to think that Patterson and/or Jenkins can’t produce this year, at some point the Giants are going to need to get younger in the trenches.
The youth movement is on with the offensive line, where the only guys age 30 or older on that side of the ball are projected starting right guard Chris Snee (32 years old) and backup guard/center Dallas Reynolds (30 years old).
I think it will be sooner rather than later when we see the defensive line follow that lead.
Since the defensive tackle position is one where having a solid core of players to rotate is key, I think if Quarles comes in here, keeps out of trouble and works hard, he could surprise a few people.
Revised Grade: A-