Thanks to “The Magician” Patrick Graham, New York Giants defensive coordinator, the team ranked 12th in total sacks last season with 40. Despite Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines missing a majority of the 2020 season due to injury, Graham managed to scheme a pass rush but landed in the adequate category. He primarily utilized players like Carter Coughlin, was was drafted in the seventh round last year, and Jabaal Sheard, who was plucked off the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad mid-season.
Utilizing a fantastic interior pass rush composed of Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, Graham managed to extract the most out of some of his better players, masking deficiencies at outside linebacker. However, the Giants failed to address the position this free agency, missing out on Leonard Floyd as the team pursued his talents but were outbid by the Los Angeles Rams.
Now, the Giants are sending plenty of front office members and talent evaluators to research the pass rush class of 2021. While there are a few solid options, none are worthy of being selected at 11, but let’s take a look at three players who have been connected to the Giants and why we should stay away.
Three pass rushers the New York Giants should stay away from:
1.) Jaelan Philips
Phillips is considered a top-15 talent as a pass rusher out of Miami, but he comes with plenty of baggage. Phillips was involved in a moped accident where he suffered a broken wrist and a concussion, his third of his college career.
There is reason to believe that Phillips is one concussion away from his NFL dreams taking a backseat, and the Giants must weigh that risk if they elect to take him at 11. Despite his talent, there are plenty of other players who can make an immediate impact on both sides of the ball, so staying away from a player with a problematic injury history is probably a good idea.
2.) Greg Rousseau
One player that analysts have connected with the Giants is Miami pass rusher Gregory Rousseau, coincidentally Jaelan Phillips’ teammate. Rousseau is an interesting prospect who collected 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 2019.
The problem with Gregory is that he’s rather raw, having missed the 2020 season and posted one solid season of production. A lot of his sacks came from the interior, where he won’t feature at the NFL level, and he’s not much of a scheme fit as an outside linebacker for the Giants unless they can manipulate his style and help them adapt to a new role. His stock has plummeted lately, and the Giants would be taking a massive risk with him at 11.
3.) Kwity Paye
While I do like Kwity Paye and believe he has functional strength to play at the NFL level, added with solid speed off the LOS, he doesn’t entirely fit the 3-4 scheme the Giants deploy. Paye is more of a down lineman, featuring traditional 4-3 defense.
Unless the Giants want to play more nickel and believe he will be on the field for a minimum of 70% of snaps, they can’t justify drafting him at 11. In addition, he likely won’t go until 15+ in the draft anyway.
If the Giants want a true pass rusher with unlimited potential, they should target Micah Parsons, who has developed pass rush moves and could likely start at the NFL level as a stacked outside linebacker.