Tomlinson’s NFL journey ‘full of adversity’ New York Giants lost their starting defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins earlier this month to the Indianapolis Colts. New York used the draft to fill that hole by selecting @Dalvin thom out of Alabama with their second round pick.
The 6’3, 310-pound lineman played all four years with the Crimson Tide, totaling 122 tackles and four sacks. During a post-draft press conference, Tomlinson spoke on his background: “I grew up in Georgia. I was a three tournament wrestler. State championship in high school.”
Tomlinson’s journey to the NFL has been full of adversity, on and off the field. Speaking on his challenges off the field, Tomlinson said “Just have been through a lot of adversity. My mom passed going into my senior year. I pushed through it and it motivated me to become a better football player and person. I used that at Alabama and try to continue to get better each and every day. It paid off for me.”
On the field, Tomlinson dealt with two ACL surgeries: “Coming into college with a torn ACL and then also having a second one and still being able to get back onto the field. Most defensive linemen probably wouldn’t have been able to come back from it the way I did. Also, to fight through it each and every day was tough on me at first. I just kept fighting through it each and every day and it ended up working out in the long run. I’m grateful for it because everything happens for a reason.”
At the combine, Tomlinson had an average performance, running a 5.19 second 40-yard dash. Speaking on when he met with Big Blue during the interview process, Tomlinson said “I remember just critiquing myself a lot. I told them about my life story and everything. I’ve been through a lot of adversity in my career at Alabama and also in high school. I always fought through it and just wanted to become one of the best competitors on the team.”
Whatever Tomlinson said during that interview seemed to hook GM Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo to the lineman.
Tomlinson is set to reunite with his former Alabama teammate, Landon Collins. When asked about Collins and joining the Giants’ strong defense, Tomlinson said “I’m super excited to see Landon again. The Giants defense is an amazing defense. I love the play calls and the scheme they run. I feel like I’m going to be a perfect fit for their defense.”
Tomlinson will be a front-runner going into training camp for the starting spot on the Giants’ defensive line. The Giants second round pick had to overcome incredible odds just to make it to football’s biggest stage.