D.J. Davidson was inspired by retired Giants great Antonio Pierce

The New York Giants selected Arizona State defensive tackle D.J. Davidson with the fourth pick in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft. He is basically an early-down run stopper the Giants will slide into the defensive line rotation.

“D.J. Davidson, see him more as a nose, out of Arizona State, be a good depth player that has some upside,” Giants general manager Joe Schoen told the media on Saturday. “We are excited about working with him inside, again, trying to add some depth up front there.”

Davidson was a player the Giants targeted. He had played under former Giant captain Antonio Pierce during Pierce’s time as defensive coordinator out in Tempe.

“He never really talked to me about the Giants or anything like that. I know he played with the Giants when he was at D.C. at Arizona State, he always put up his film,” Davidson told the media on Saturday. “Always saw Twitter clips of him being a monster on the field, coming downhill, making tackles for loss, covering in coverage, all those types of things.

“That’s what really inspired me as a player, seeing my defensive coordinator in that position. And, I mean, it’s the Giants. Knowing he played there and seeing that, I want to live up to what he lived up to and be on that level with him.”

Davidson said his pre-draft dealings with the Giants were all positive and got a great vibe from the atmosphere and deceive line coaches Andre Patterson and Bryan Cox.

“I went on the 30 visit like towards the end of the 30-visit deadline. So I went on a 30 visit and talked with Coach Patterson, talked with everybody, the GMs, player personnel, the whole thing when they brought me in there, and had constant phone calls. I had Zoom calls with Coach Patterson and Coach Cox. And they’re amazing. The building is amazing, the coaches are amazing. I love the Giants,” he said.

Davison said he thought he impressed the Giants simply by being himself with them. The Giants are looking for players who fit their culture and Davidson is their type of kid.

“I believe what made the positive impression is who I am as a person. I went back to my roots. I stayed true to myself. I stayed true and kept it real with the owners, with Coach Patterson, with all of them and what my goals are, just to be the best teammate, to be the best player that I can be, have them challenge me every day, my good days and bad days, and continue to respond in a positive way,” Davidson added.

“I said those things to them, and I think that’s the main thing is just me as a person, they know the character that I am and just keeping the main thing the main thing, coming in, be the best team player, and just really put myself in the best ability and the best situation in their defensive scheme and what they have for this next season coming up.”