Giants can no longer rely on ‘injury-prone’ pass-rusher

nfl: new york giants at washington commanders, azeez ojulari
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The New York Giants‘ primary pass rush this season has been a two-man show consisting of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence. The second-year pass rusher has fought against a “bust” narrative created around him earlier this season, responding with positive contributions and showcasing his value to a team that desperately needed him to take a step forward.

Of course, Lawrence is already the team’s best player and one of the best defensive interior linemen in the NFL. He signed a massive contract extension before the 2023 season, but his impact alone hasn’t stopped the Giants from struggling to win games this season.

The Giants Can’t Rely on Azeez Ojulari Anymore

However, let’s take a look at third-year defender Azeez Ojulari, a player who has dealt with a significant number of injuries and has been underwhelming this season. Last year, he played just 252 snaps, tallying 20 pressures and six sacks despite a small sample size. Ojulari was expecting to be one of the team’s primary pass rushers off the edge, but he has officially earned the “injury-prone” label and has become more of a liability than an asset.

This season, the 23-year-old Georgia product has played 161 snaps, recording eight pressures and collecting just two tackles. His best game came against the Seattle Seahawks when he produced five pressures, more than half his tally this season.

As a solid pure pass rusher, Ojulari has been fighting through pain in an attempt to make an impact, but the Giants haven’t been able to get the most out of him despite his upside.

At this point, it is fair to assume that the front office will look to increase their pass rush presents off the edge next off-season. Some veteran leadership would go a long way, but spending a draft pick to help reinforce the unit may not be a bad move either.

While the Giants have been heavily connected to potential quarterback prospects, they have two second-round picks in 2024, one of which could be used on the defensive line.