Giants could trade for Lions’ veteran pass-rusher

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David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are gearing up for the 2023 season, and it’s evident they have a tantalizing mix of talent on their defensive line. There’s a palpable buzz around the team’s defensive prospects with players like the second-year pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence, who’s freshly inked a significant contract extension.

Giants’ Defensive Front: Promising Yet Lacking Depth

Undoubtedly, the Giants’ defensive line is one of the most thrilling and potential-laden in the NFL. However, there’s a gaping void when it comes to depth in the outside linebacker position. Apart from the formidable duo of Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, the weight falls on Jihad Ward and Oshane Ximines to balance out the team’s defense.

Interestingly, whispers in the NFL circles, as shared by analyst Cam Marino, suggest that the Giants might be eyeing Detroit Lions’ defender Julian Okwara for a potential trade.

Julian Okwara: A Potential Fit for Giants?

Julian Okwara, aged 25 and a notable alum of Notre Dame, isn’t a stranger to the Giants’ legacy. His brother, Romeo Okwara, kickstarted his professional journey with the Giants before taking other avenues. Julian’s record over three seasons with Detroit is commendable, having played 650 snaps, bagged 7.0 sacks, and made 27 tackles, albeit with a 26% missed tackle rate.

A closer look at Okwara’s last season reveals 220 snaps under his belt, 2.0 sacks, a contribution of 12 total pressures, 10 tackles, and six missed tackles. Opponents targeted him 10 times, where he conceded seven receptions amounting to 93 yards.

While Okwara might appear to be more of a depth addition, his promise is undeniable. The Giants might be drawn to his attributes, aligning with their defensive blueprint. Given his stature as an outside linebacker and his history as a third-round pick, there’s a looming possibility of hidden potential that the Giants’ coaching ensemble could be eager to unveil.

Reflecting on his prime years and his commendable performance in 2021, marked by 21 total pressures and five sacks, Okwara emerges as a captivating trade prospect, potentially bolstering the Giants’ defensive line.

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