The New York Giants are in need of depth in the pass-rushing department after Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari’s backups failed to stand out during the preseason. Behind the team’s starting two edge rushers is a steep drop-off in talent. With roster cuts underway, the Giants will be keeping a close eye on the waiver wire, hoping to see some pass-rushing talent shake free.
The Giants reportedly have their eyes on one Lions EDGE
The Giants are reportedly keeping their eyes on Detroit Lions EDGE Julian Okwara ahead of the cut deadline. According to NFL analyst Cam Marino, Okwara to the Giants is one potential trade to keep an eye on this week.
Rather than trading for Okwara, the Giants could wait and see if he ends up on the waiver wire. If no trade market materializes for Okwara, the Lions may just cut him to free up a roster spot. New York would certainly be eager to place a waiver claim for the 25-year-old pass-rusher.
After being drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Okwara has gone on to play in just 29 career games, totaling seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 47 combined tackles across three seasons. It’s been an underwhelming start to his NFL career, but after recording three sacks against the Giants in Week 1 of this year’s preseason, a move to the Big Apple could be beneficial to both parties.
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From Chicago to New York
Chicago Bears DE Trevis Gipson could be a surprising cut candidate ahead of the deadline. While not a traditional OLB, Gipson does rush off the edge and could be implemented into New York’s defensive scheme as a rotational rusher. Alyssa Barbieri of Bears Wire predicts Gipson could be released by the deadline.
“The Bears have overhauled their defensive end room, including the additions of Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker, after having the league’s worst pass rush last season,” Barbieri writes. “But it was still a surprise to find former starter Trevis Gipson listed among the bottom of the first unofficial depth chart, an indication his spot on the roster is far from secure.”
Gipson’s best season of his career came in 2021 when he aligned as an OLB, rather than a DE. In 2021, Gipson totaled seven sacks and 39 combined tackles in 16 games. The Giants would be wise to place a claim on Gipson if he does wind up on the waiver wire.
Taking another flier on the 2020 NFL Draft class
The Giants now have two of the top-ten picks from the 2020 NFL Draft on their roster after trading for Isaiah Simmons. As cut day approaches, another first-round pick from that class could wind up on the waiver wire. After a disappointing start to his career, the Jacksonville Jaguars may soon be parting ways with OLB K’Lavon Chaisson.
Chaisson is a speed-rusher that Jacksonville selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2020 draft. Since then, he has totaled just one sack per season and only 60 combined tackles in 40 career games. Chaisson was phased out of the defensive lineup last season, making zero starts for the Jaguars.
He has had an unproductive and underwhelming start to his NFL career. But Chaisson is an athletic, lengthy pass-rusher who might be worth taking a chance on if he does wind up on the waiver wire. The Giants need more depth at EDGE and Chaisson, still only 24 years old, could be the high-upside player to target on cut day.