The New York Giants have a youthful defense that will need to improve in 2020. The team has spent third-round picks in each of the last two NFL Drafts on edge rushers. In 2018, New York drafted Lorenzo Carter, then Oshane Ximines in 2019. The Giants’ 2020 defense will likely feature a pass-rush by committee. But for Lorenzo Carter, specifically, what should we expect to see?
Lorenzo’s 2019 Regression
Lorenzo Carter was a decent player on the Giants’ defense in 2018. As a rookie, Carter showed some great flashes of potential. Lorenzo totaled 4 sacks, 10 QB hits, 19 pressures, 43 combined tackles, and 0 missed tackles. Carter did this on 40% of the Giants’ defensive snaps (441 snaps in total). That statistic is key to understanding why Carter’s 2019 performance was so disappointing.
In 2019, Carter played a much larger role in the defense. He saw his total number of snaps jump all the way to 723, which accounted for 65% of defensive snaps. With such an increase in playing time, one would reasonably expect an increase in production. Carter did not deliver. He gained only an extra 0.5 sack (4.5 total) compared to his 2018 total. He gained only 4 more pressures (23 total), only 2 more combined tackles (45 total), and saw his missed tackle rate skyrocket. Carter missed 8 tackles in 2019, a 15.1% missed tackle rate. This statistic is concerning and shocking considering just how reliable Lorenzo was as a tackler in his rookie season.
Carter’s Role in 2020
After failing to take that step forward as a sophomore, Lorenzo Carter is likely to see his role decrease in 2020. He played 65% of snaps in 2019 and that total percentage will likely decrease in 2020. The Giants added Kyler Fackrell in free agency and have high expectations for Oshane Ximines in his sophomore season. Not to mention Markus Golden is likely to return. These reasons will probably lead to Carter settling into a backup/rotational role.
If Lorenzo Carter can have a season similar to his 2018 campaign, that should be considered a success. Fewer snaps, but more efficient production, plus the additional pass-rushers on the roster could spell success for the Giants’ defense.