New York Giants: Is Oshane Ximines the key to a successful pass rush in 2020?

New York Giants, Oshane Ximines
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The New York Giants are taking an interesting approach toward their pass rush scheme in 2020. New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham loves to blitz, especially on third down when he blitzed 41% of the time in 2019 with the Miami Dolphins.

I fully anticipate a schemed pass rush, including safeties and linebackers. Second-round pick Xavier McKinney will be active moving up to the line of scrimmage alongside Jabrill Peppers, who is cemented at strong safety. Linebackers Blake Martinez and Ryan Connelly should be frequent fliers on delayed blitzes as well.

However, the outside linebacker position could be tumultuous in 2020. In the case that Markus Golden leaves the team for a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Giants will be left with Kyler Fackrell, who posted 10.5 sacks in 2018, Oshane Ximines, who posted 4.5 sacks in his rookie season last year, and Lorenzo Carter who took a major step backward in his sophomore campaign.

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Golden only has a few more days to make a decision on his future. It seems like he’ll stick with the Giants on a one year, $4.125 million deal. That should give Big Blue a bit more firepower at the position. However, I’m mostly excited about Ximines.

Ximines was the first player to ever be drafted out of Old Dominion in 2019, and the Queens, New York native, holds a ton of untapped potential. His 32.5 career sacks in college attest to his solid physical traits. He has great athleticism, solid speed off the edge, and a surprisingly diverse array of pass rush moves.

Playing in 45% of defensive snaps in 2019, Ximines logged 4.5 sacks, 25 combined tackles, five tackles for loss, and nine quarterback hits. Another positive stat, he didn’t miss a single tackle. As the season progressed, he took more responsibility and played well with the opportunity.

What should the New York Giants expect from “X”?

I believe the second your player is a breakout candidate for 2020, considering the increase in playing time we expect him to enjoy. The increase in experience and adaptation to the physicality and speed of the league should help him in his development. In addition, the continuity in the interior of the line should help him increase his 1v1 assignments.

Dalvin Tomlinson, Leonard Williams, and Dexter Lawrence are great at drawing double teams. Theoretically, this should give the outside linebackers more of an advantage, especially on stunts.

Despite our expectations for OShane, the Giants have one of the thinnest pass rush units in the NFL. They are essentially trying to buy sacks with the signing of Fackrell on a one year deal. Their retention of Golden would give them an underrated unit, but their real strength lies in the interior.

Ximines’ build looks eerily similar to Osi Umenyiora, who stood at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds. Ximines is 6-foot-4 and 252 pounds. I like his style compared to Osi, who was dangerously quick off the line of scrimmage and had strong hands at the point of contact.

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