The New York Giants played their first preseason game of the 2021 season on Saturday. The Giants lost to the Jets, 12-7, as their offense struggled for the majority of the game. Preseason games are exhibitions, of course, and the main takeaways are seldom the scoreboard. Instead, there is a greater emphasis on individual performances.
Despite the loss, the Giants did have some individual performances stand out. Second-year linebacker Carter Coughlin had a tremendous performance in his first game primarily playing inside linebacker, rather than on the edge.
Carter Coughlin stats and highlights
In the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected edge rusher, Carter Coughlin, out of Minnesota. Coughlin was a highly productive pass-rusher in his collegiate career, playing on the edge as a defensive end/outside linebacker.
Late round steal for Dave Gettleman and the #Giants?
Carter Coughlin had 22.5 sacks in his collegiate career and forced 8 fumbles.
He also has the third-highest single-season pass-rushing grade of all B1G Ten EDGE since 2014 (PFF).
Keep a close eye on him during training camp. pic.twitter.com/7e37sjF9y9
— Anthony Rivardo (@Anthony_Rivardo) August 9, 2020
In his rookie season with the Giants, Carter Coughlin continued to play on the edge. He had some impressive moments as a rookie and showed some real promise. Coughlin racked up 17 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack in 14 games and two starts.
After a seemingly successfully rookie season playing edge rusher, the Giants decided to make a switch. Carter Coughlin transitioned to inside linebacker this offseason, a new position. His first time playing in this new spot on Saturday seemed to be a major success.
According to Pro Football Focus, Carter Coughlin graded out 91.8 on 24 snaps in his first extended look at inside linebacker. Coughlin totaled five tackles, one sack, and one tackle for loss on Saturday.
â€œItâ€™s been really, really fun to work on. It was fun to do that on the scout team last year and get kind of a feel for it and then really dig into it during camp and get those off-the-ball reps.â€ – Carter Coughlin on playing inside linebacker via NY Daily News
Carter Coughlin is still a young player with plenty of areas to improve. But this transition to a new position seems to be a successful one after an impressive summer of practices and a stellar preseason Week One performance. If the Giants were excited for Carter Coughlin in his rookie season, their level of excitement has surely grown in year two.