Defensive end Dave Tollefson has been a solid contributor when called upon for the New York Giants in his two seasons with the team.
Tollefson was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers, 253rd overall in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL draft. With that considered, it's rather remarkable that he has become a nice, complementary backup defensive end for the Giants.
He is no where near the same level as Mathias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck or Osi Umenyiora, but he has played well in his backup role.
In 2008, Tollefson finished the season with 19 total tackles and 3.5 sacks in 13 games played.
In 2009, he will be on the bubble.
Maurice Evans, an undrafted free agent out of Penn State, likely will be his replacement. Evans burst onto the scene his sophomore season for the Nittany Lions racking up 54 tackles, with 21.5 tackles for loss, to go with 12.5 sacks, 3 passes broken up in coverage, and 5 forced fumbles.
Evans would have been a first-round draft pick had he not been caught with marijuana in college. He was later replaced on the roster by Aaron Maybin, who went on to become a first-round draft pick in his own right this year, now with the Buffalo Bills.
The important thing to remember is that Maurice was not demoted because of his skills on the playing field, but for disciplinary reasons. He has first-round ability and Jerry Reese may have found yet another steal.
Dave Tollefson has reached his ceiling potential-wise, and is 27-years-old. Maurice Evans is the future, and not only do I believe he will make the roster replacing Tollefson, but I have a hunch that Giants fans will know who this kid is by the end of preseason.