Giants might have found a UDFA defensive line gem

East Rutherford , NJ — May 10, 2024 -- Defensive lineman Casey Rogers as the NY Giants hold their Rookie Camp and introduce their new draft picks.
Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants have built a formidable defensive front this offseason, but it’s not without its weaknesses. On Big Blue’s defensive line is a gap that needs to be filled. The Giants need someone to step up as a starting interior defensive lineman to play alongside Dexter Lawrence.

While there are a couple of returning players who will likely take that role, the Giants also have a rookie who could be vying for the position. The Draft Network recently listed undrafted rookie defensive lineman Casey Rogers as the UDFA who has the best chance of making the Giants’ roster.

The Draft Network thinks Casey Rogers could make the Giants’ roster

Oregon defensive lineman Casey Rogers stops Washington State running back Nakia Watson as the No. 9 Oregon Ducks host Washington State Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.
Oregon defensive lineman Casey Rogers stops Washington State running back Nakia Watson as the No. 9 Oregon Ducks host Washington State Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. Credit: Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Draft Network’s Justin Melo highlighted Rogers as the one out of the eight undrafted rookies the Giants signed this offseason who has the best chance of making their regular-season roster. He called the former Nebraska and Oregon defensive tackle New York’s “standout signing.”

“The Giants made changes to their defense this offseason by appointing Bowen,” Melo explained. “Schoen went searching for young defensive linemen that fit the scheme. The guaranteed money awarded to Rogers, paired with his pro-day performance and historical production, indicates he’s capable of carving out a role for himself this summer.”

Melo describes Rogers as a pass-rushing 3-tech who “possesses good natural athleticism and quickness that allows him to generate backfield pressure.” Because of the team’s thinness on the interior of their defense, Rogers could have a greater chance of making the final roster than the rest of his undrafted peers.

Rogers could provide quality depth to the Giants’ defense as a rookie

Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Casey Rogers (98) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive lineman Casey Rogers (98) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While that aforementioned starting position is unlikely to be obtained by an undrafted rookie, Rogers could, at the very least, develop into a quality depth piece for New York. He’s joining a group to compete with the likes of Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Jordan Phillips, D.J. Davidson, and Jordon Riley.

Rogers is an athletic defensive lineman, scoring a 9.82 relative athletic score (RAS) behind a 4.84s 40-yard dash, 9-foot-8 broad jump, and 35-inch vertical jump with a 6-foot-4, 294-pound frame.

Rogers began his collegiate career with Nebraska, totaling 42 tackles, six tackles for loss, two pass breakups, and 1.5 from 2020-2021. Over his final two collegiate seasons with Oregon, Rogers totaled 56 tackles, six for a loss, two pass defenses, and 1.5 sacks. His consistent production with both programs demonstrates a knack for high-level play.

The Giants need depth on their defensive line and Rogers could wind up answering the call this summer. If he performs well during training camp and the preseason, Rogers could end up making the roster as a rotational player on Big Blue’s defensive line.

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