New York Giants: Is Kyler Fackrell the pass rush answer in 2020?

New York Giants, Kyler Fackrell

When the New York Giants initially began the 2020 off-season, they were under the impression that Markus Golden would not feature on the team moving forward. Replacing his double-digit sack performance in 2019 would be difficult, but they invested in former Green Bay Packers’ pass rusher Kyler Fackrell to supplement the loss of Golden.

Since then, Golden was hit with a free agent tender, increasing the probability of his retention with the Giants. He would be paid out 110% of his salary last year, which would equate to about $4.125 million.

Nonetheless, the Giants already signed Kyler to a one-year, $4.6 million deal. At 28 years old, the former Packer has shown quality in the past, specifically in 2018, when he posted 10.5 sacks. During this season, Patrick Graham was his linebacker coach, who is currently the Giants’ new defensive coordinator. His connection with Graham is stellar and should prove to be beneficial in 2020.

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“We had that year together and we became super close, he was my inside linebacker coach,” Martinez said. “For me, what made me so excited to work with him this year and the following years is how smart he is. I think he is probably the smartest coach I’ve ever been around. The preparation he puts in every week, his intensity, just how much he cares about the game of football. It just allowed me to go in every Sunday or Monday or Thursday games fully prepared. I never felt like I didn’t know what play was going to happen next.” – Kyler Fackrell on Giants Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham

The New York Giants are looking to bring the best out of their new signing

Fackrell’s 2018 season was the best he’s had at the NFL level. He played in 59% of Packers’ defensive snaps, which was a career-high. He fell down the depth chart in 2019, though, after Green Bay signed Preston and Za’Darius Smith, two talented pass rushers who managed to supplant Fackrell as a starting player, Anthony Rivardo of ESM notes.

One team’s loss is another’s treasure. That is how the Giants see the signing of Fackrell. There is no question he is underrated, after posting 10.5 sacks, 42 combined tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, and 18 pressures two years ago. He is also capable of playing in zone coverage, which attests to his athleticism. One positive trait he brings to the table is health. He has still struggled to cement himself as a regular starter on defense.

However, if Golden signs elsewhere (he has until July 22), Kyler will be a day one starter for Big Blue. That could be problematic considering his inconsistent history. I wouldn’t categorize the former Packer as a premium level pass rusher. He is more than capable and can supplement Markus’ sacks. Golden and Fackrell paired could be a sneaky duo at OLB.

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