Positional analysis: Defensive line

February, 11, 2013
2/11/13
5:30
PM ET
We've been taking a look toward 2013 with a position-by-position breakdown of the Giants leading into the scouting combine and free agency.

So far, we have analyzed quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end. and offensive line.


DEFENSIVE LINE

2012 depth chart:
DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DE Justin Tuck, DE Osi Umenyiora, DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka, DE Adrian Tracy, DE Adewale Ojomo, DT Linval Joseph, DT Chris Canty, DT Rocky Bernard, DT Marvin Austin, DT Markus Kuhn.

[+] EnlargeJason Pierre-Paul
Larry French/Getty ImagesOffenses keyed on Jason Pierre-Paul, who dropped from 16.5 sacks in 2011 to 6.5 in 2012.
Overview: Sacks were down as the Giants went from 48 in 2011 to 33 last season. Offenses keyed in on the Giants' pass rushers; JPP gained a lot of attention after his breakout season and was held to just 6.5 sacks. Umenyiora had six sacks and Tuck collected just four. The Giants finished 31st in total defense, 28th against the pass and 25th against the run. They couldn't get enough pressure on quarterbacks when they needed to, and stopping the run was problematic. Joseph continued to get better with 59 tackles and 4.0 sacks. Canty played in just nine games due to his knee.

Free agents: Umenyiora, Bernard, Tracy (exclusive rights free agent), DE Justin Trattou (exclusive rights free agent).

2013 personnel preview: The Giants will need more production from Pierre-Paul and Tuck, especially if Umenyiora isn't back. ... The Giants could always potentially move Kiwanuka back to defensive end. ... The Giants could sign another pass rusher in free agency or draft one. ... Tracy could emerge as the Giants' extra pass rusher. Ojomo also showed potential last preseason. ... The Giants will have to figure out who will start alongside Joseph now that Canty was let go. They re-signed Shaun Rogers to plug the middle. After missing all of last season due to a blood clot, Rogers will attempt a comeback. Austin should get opportunities in camp to show that he is ready for a bigger role. Kuhn exceeded expectations last season before tearing his ACL. ... Bottom line is that the Giants' defensive line has to be more dominant in 2013.

Salary-cap situation: Umenyiora is a free agent and is looking for more a lucrative contract and a starting job –- two things the Giants likely cannot give him. But he did leave the door open for a potential return. ... Tuck is entering the final year of his contract and vows to have a vintage Tuck year. ... The Giants shaved cap space by releasing Canty and re-signed Rogers to a cheap low-risk deal. There's always the possibility they could add another veteran defensive lineman in free agency.

Tell us what you think of the Giants' defensive line going into 2013 and what you want to see happen in the offseason.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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