New York Giants: One pass rusher to keep an eye on with Oshane Ximines hitting IR

Alexander Wilson
carter coughlin, New York Giants
Aug 28, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Alex Tanney (3) throws a pass as linebacker Carter Coughlin (49) defends during the second half of the Blue-White Scrimmage at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Based on the injuries the Dallas Cowboys are currently facing, most would say that their opponents would have a favorable matchup, especially on the offensive line. They will be without their starting center, right tackle, and left tackle against the New York Giants in week five. However, the New York Giants have a few injuries of their own, specifically at pass rusher.

Big Blue put second-year outside linebacker Oshane Ximines on injured reserve Friday afternoon, and Kyler Fackrell is also questionable for the contest against Dallas. That will ultimately force players like Markus Golden and Lorenzo Carter into more prominent roles. Through four weeks, Golden has only enjoyed 26% of defensive snaps, posting zero sacks and just six tackles in that timeframe.

Considering Golden’s lack of production lately, the Giants could inject rookie Carter Coughlin at OLB in the absence of Ximines. He hasn’t played a single down on defense this year, but has played 25% of special team snaps.

What does Carter Coughlin bring to the New York Giants defense if given an opportunity?

Coughlin, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft, has exceptional physical traits and athleticism. His 4.57 40-yard dash and 8.16 10-yard split in the combine both ranked in the 80th percentile for linebackers this year.

At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Coughlin doesn’t represent a power rusher but more of a finesse player. Back in 2018, Coughlin ranked third among Big-10 players with a 92.2 overall pass-rush grade.

Carter ranked above Joey Bosa and just behind Chase Young and Nick Bosa in pass rush grading. For the Giants to experience that same value in the NFL, they need to increase his bulk but ultimately use him to his strengths.

I don’t necessarily feel comfortable with Coufhlib sealing the edge in the run game, but he can be a solid pass rusher against heavy-footed tackles. His speed and athleticism off the edge makes him an interesting player, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the Giants rotate him with Markus Golden, for the time being, just to gather some film.