New York Giants rookie linebacker could make an impact in first season

micah mcfadden, giants

The New York Giants‘ 2022 NFL Draft class was widely praised. The Giants landed some consensus studs in the first round of the draft with Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal. But even the Giants’ middle and late-round draft picks were praised by fans and analysts alike. One mid-round rookie that could make an impact for the Giants this season is linebacker Micah McFadden.

What Micah McFadden is bringing to the Giants

The New York Giants drafted linebacker Micah McFadden out of Indiana in the fifth round with the 146th overall pick in the draft. McFadden was a pass-rushing specialist during his time at Indiana. For an off-ball linebacker, McFadden’s ability to rush the quarterback is impressive. Micah McFadden’s pass-rushing skills make him a perfect fit in Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme.

Micah McFadden tallied an impressive 6.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 77 total tackles in 2021. He was also graded by PFF as the best pass-rushing off-ball linebacker in CFB last year. Over the last two years, McFadden totaled 26.5 TFL and 12.5 sacks to go along with a 92.9 PFF pass-rush grade since 2020.

Ravens Blitz percentage under Don “Wink” Martindale:

  • 2018- 1st (39.6%)
  • 2019- 1st (54.9%)
  • 2020 – 1st (44.1%)
  • 2021 – 6th (31.1%)

McFadden’s 60 combined quarterback pressures from 2020-2021 ranked third-most by a linebacker in College Football during that timespan. The Giants will be running a blitz-heavy defensive system with Wink Martindale in town. This scheme should maximize Micah McFadden’s skillset and afford him opportunities to make an impact as a pass-rushing off-ball linebacker.

The Giants were not only getting an exceptional pass-rusher when they drafted Micah McFadden, they were also getting an exceptional athlete. McFadden scored a 9.47 relative athletic score (RAS) out of a possible 10.00, ranking 130 out of 2419 LB from 1987 to 2022. His speed and agility grades were elite as he flew with a 1.54s 10-yard-split in the 40-yard dash.

Indiana utilized Micah McFadden in a variety of ways on their defense. He was sent from numerous angles. Indiana developed a unique blitz package that allowed McFadden to thrive. Expect to see Wink Martindale dial up some creative blitz packages that get Micah McFadden involved in the New York Giants defense this season.