Giants landed a perfect scheme fit at linebacker to pair with Blake Martinez

micah mcfadden, giants

The New York Giants needed to address the linebacker position after suffering through adversity during the 2021 campaign. After Blake Martinez tore his ACL in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons,  Big Blue had to rely on former seventh-round draft pick Tae Crowder to hold down the position for the rest of the year.

Unfortunately, the linebacker core suffered greatly due to a lack of talent and consistency. Crowder has the capabilities to serve as a solid backup, but he’s a questionable starter with limited athleticism. New management didn’t invest big-time draft capital at linebacker, but they added two mid-round selections to help boost the unit and provide a bit more competition.

General manager Joe Schoen drafted Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft. Shortly after, they landed Darrian Beavers out of Cincinnati in the sixth round.

McFadden is an interesting prospect that offers an aggressive style of play. New defensive coordinator wink Martindale will love his fashion. McFadden is known for seeking out contact and blitzing from the linebacker position, which is exactly what Martindale looks for in linebackers.

“Another guy with very good size, speed,’’ general manager Joe Schoen said. “He was a captain, he’s athletic. I think he’ll help us out. He can play inside, outside, and he’s a good blitzer as well. Another versatile piece.’’

Schoen seems to be attracted to versatility, which is suggested by most of their draft picks and their ability to feature at multiple positions. McFadden enjoyed 738 total snaps last season with Indiana, curating 77 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks.

Recently, the Giants interviewed McFadden, asking him about the process of adapting to the NFL and the expansive playbook.

“Just a lot of information really quick, but I think it’s good,” McFadden said, via the Giants. “That’s how you’re going to learn.”

Micah is obviously up to the challenge, indicating that he wants to become a starter and impact player at the NFL level.

“Obviously everybody wants to play, but I want to be a starter and perform at a high level in this league,’’ McFadden told The Post on Saturday after the second rookie minicamp practice. “That’s definitely someone I would look up to, and I’m excited to learn from a guy like that.’’

There are a lot of similarities between McFadden and Blake Martinez, specifically their size and aggressive run-stopping mentality. Martinez is one of the league’s top tacklers every season, generating 151 combined tackles in 2020 before his injury.

McFadden can learn a lot from Martinez, who has six years of experience in the league.

“I think everybody plays different but definitely somebody I can learn from and use what he’s learned in the league and how he plays to implement in my game as well,’’ McFadden said.

The Giants can use McFadden all over the defense:

The former Indiana captain is a productive blitzer, which is extremely exciting given the change in defensive strategy. That doesn’t mean McFadden is without issues, as he struggles considerably in coverage. He’s not exactly the player you want matching up in the slot or in man coverage, which Martindale loves to run.

Regarding his measurables, McFadden had an above-average 20-yard shuttle at 4.15 seconds, 4.63 40-yard dash, and 6.88 3-cone. His arm length is just 31.25 inches, landing in the 26th percentile of LB prospects. He missed 16 tackles last season, a number he will be looking to decrease at the next level.

Nonetheless, McFadden offers great intangible traits as a leader and could end up stealing starting snaps alongside Martinez this upcoming season. At the very least, he’s a perfect supplement in case anything happens to the veteran linebacker.