Guy to watch: Marvin Austin

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
5:28
PM ET
No, "Guy to Watch" isn't on the verge of becoming a regular feature here. But I like the expression, and I think New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin fits it well. We don't know if the second-year defensive tackle, who hasn't played in a real football game in more than two years, will have any impact at all on the Giants in 2012. But the Giants feel as though he could, and they're eager to get some kind of return on that 2011 second-round pick they used to draft him. So he's Ohm's spotlight guy today:
The Giants are deep at defensive tackle and if Austin plays up to the potential the Giants believe he has, that will be a major bonus for Fewell's defense. If he is quick enough to present problems and get into the backfield and even perhaps get inside pressure on quarterbacks, the Giants will have one more added dimension to their defense. They can get better at stopping the run. The unknown is how Austin will react to playing football games again and adjust to the pro game after being out for so long.

Totally could go either way, yeah. I personally think if the guy gets on the field, he's not going to be stopped. But that's just because I like the way he played in college and he strikes me as a very difficult person to impede. The issue is whether he can stay healthy, and even if he can, whether he can last a whole season, even in a backup/rotational kind of role. He hasn't played football since North Carolina's 2009 season, and that's a very long time ago, making him an enigma with massive potential. Or, more simply, a guy to watch.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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