Leonard Williams was traded on Monday and he won’t have to go far with him getting sent from the New York Jets to the New York Giants. The Jets were trying to move Williams ahead of Tuesday’s deadline and were able to do so with the team that shares a stadium with them.
The Giants have been searching for some help along their defensive line and were able to achieve that by acquiring the former first-round pick. Before being traded, Williams had spent four and half seasons with the Jets.
This season, his production has dropped off compared to previous seasons. Through the first eight weeks, Williams has recorded 20 tackles, five hits on the quarterback, and one pass deflection. However, the USC product has been unable to log a single sack in 2019 yet.
Nevertheless, the Giants are getting a talented defensive lineman who can improve their defense. With that being said, what grade do the Giants deserve in their trade for Williams?
Grade for Giants’ trade for Williams: B+
The Giants surrendered a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick to lure Williams from the Jets. Many have questioned the price that Giants had to give up to get the fifth-year defensive lineman. Especially one who may become a rental with his contract expiring after the 2019 season.
Considering the potential that Williams has for the Giants, the price actually isn’t that steep. In the end, the trade essentially sends a fifth-round pick in exchange for Williams. How is that so?
This trade could go two ways. One, the Giants could sign Williams to a long-term deal and it works out for them. In the event that he does sign, the fifth-round pick actually turns into a fourth-rounder. But that’s a steal if he becomes what the Giants expect of him.
On the other hand, Williams could disappoint in the final eight games of the season. With that being the case, the Giants would allow him to walk in free agency and would likely garner a third-round compensation pick (depending on what he signs for in 2020).
Therefore, this could be a trade that benefits both sides regardless of how it plays out. During his time with the Jets, Williams was commonly used as a 3-4 defensive end.
Now, with the Giants, he will likely be moved around but will spend most of his time in the interior. Since 2016, Williams has been one of the most stout run defenders in the NFL.
Since 2016, 38.7% of Leonard Williams' run tackles have gone for a loss or no gain, which is second to only Aaron Donald.
— PFF (@PFF) October 28, 2019
When your name is mentioned with Aaron Donald in any capacity, you know you’re doing something right. For the Giants, if Williams can excel in their defense, the duo of him and Dexter Lawrence could be dominant for years to come.
Due to the potential that this trade has, the Giants receive a B+ for landing Williams. The only reason it isn’t a higher grade is that it could take a slight hit if Williams doesn’t re-sign long-term.