The New York Giants spent their third round pick on pass-rusher Oshane Ximines this past NFL Draft, and a lot is weighing down on the defender as he theoretically replaces Olivier Vernon.
Vernon, who was an extremely effective player while on the field, struggled with injuries in recent years. However, he did manage to squeeze out a Pro Bowl appearance last season. Ximines has big shoes to fill, but many NFL executives were high on him coming out of college.
Old Dominion isn’t a top tier school for football, considering Oshane was their first ever draft pick. It was interesting, though, that the Giants didn’t select a pass-rusher in the first round when they had three picks. Waiting until the third round to address a position of weakness could backfire this upcoming season, but it’s yet to be seen what type of influence Ximines has on the defense.
In 2018, the Old Dominion product was fantastic, picking up 58 total tackles, 11.5 sacks, and 18 tackles for a loss. He also forced four fumbles, two passes defended, and an interception. His playmaking ability can translate to the next level, he will need to adapt to the speed and physicality of professional athletes.
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What will Oshane Ximines’ biggest hurdle be with the New York Giants?
The obstacle Oshane will face with Big Blue is changing positions from defensive end to outside linebacker. He will be forced to learn coverage packages and cover running backs at times and drop back into zone. It will be interesting to see his adaptation and if he can succeed in a revised role.
I anticipate Ximines will be a rotational pass-rusher in 2019 and will focus on developing his abilities. Earning 55 pressures last season, he’s more than capable of providing value in his rookie season. The offseason and training camp will be important to how impactful he can be.