Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence has enjoyed himself a breakout 2022 season for the New York Giants. Though Big Blue has already picked up his fifth year option for next year, Lawrence is certainly setting himself up for a very nice payday in the near future.
In the Giants’ 38-10 Week 17 win over the Indianapolis Colts, Lawrence absolutely owned All-Pro offensive lineman Quentin Nelson. He had a total of five tackles, and recorded three QB hits and a sack.
That’s just another notch on Lawrence’s belt this season. He’s been playing some outstanding football, which has helped him land a spot in his first-career Pro Bowl.
The Clemson product leads the team with a career-high 7.5 sacks and 24 runs stops on the year. He also has made a total of 68 tackles, 28 quarterback hits, and he's forced a pair of fumbles.
The Giants defense is a major reason for them clinching their return to the postseason for the first time since 2016.
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale told reporters following Thursday’s practice that he’s proud of Lawrence, who has become "the centerpiece" of that talented unit.
"He has definitely become the centerpiece of our defense and I think it’s awesome. I told him yesterday I was so happy for him and proud of him, because he’s a good person. He’s smart and he’s worked his tail off. I think it’s great when you see a player succeed who puts as much work in as he has."
Lawrence has been absolute rock in the middle of that D-line alongside Leonard Williams. While talking with reporters Thursday, Williams also acknowledged the breakout campaign his line mate has been putting together.
“I think he’s definitely put the league on notice to the type of player he is. If he hasn’t shown it the years before, he’s definitely shown that this year," he said. "I’ve always known the type of player he is because I’ve seen him at practice everyday."
Williams added: "I’m just happy and excited to see that now the world is giving him the same recognition that his peers and coaches have been seeing from him. He’s definitely put on a show this year. It’s been impressive to watch."