The New York Giants have something special in LB Carter Coughlin

carter coughlin, new york giants

When the New York Giants originally drafted outside linebacker Carter Coughlin out of Minnesota in 2020, they didn’t imagine he would end up playing in 14 games, starting in two. Playing in 18% of the teams defensive snaps, Coughlin made an impact in multiple ways, picking up a sack, 17 combined tackles, and two quarterback hits.

While Coughlin’s role expanded when teammates Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines were knocked out for the remainder of the season, he had trouble stopping the run due to a slender frame. However, Coughlin was one of the highest-graded pass rushers at the collegiate level, and he showcased some of that potential last season, picking up nine hurries. Coordinator Patrick Graham seems to have a different approach for the Minnesota product this upcoming season, having him transition to the middle linebacker position.

Blake Martinez, Reggie Ragland, and Tae Crowder remain the team’s primary MLB’s but Coughlin is quickly adapting to the spot and making plays during the preseason.

Over two games, Coughlin has recorded 47 total snaps, picking up seven tackles, two sacks and allowed 21 yards on four receptions. His abilities as a coverage linebacker aren’t ideal, but using him as a pass rusher from the weak side prove to be effective.

Take a look at the clip below, where Coughlin executes a fantastic double A-gap twist to sack the quarterback. BJ Hill wins off the edge, putting pressure on the outside, while Coughlin pushes the interior guard and shoots up the middle.

It is clear the Giants have something in Carter, and there are multiple ways they can get him on the field to make an impact that doesn’t involve playing a traditional OLB role.

Deploying him as a situational pass rusher will likely be his most frequent utilization. Early downs when the Giants are anticipating a heavy run scheme is where I expect to see Coughlin more involved. He can shoot the interior gaps, curating tackles for loss but also attack quarterbacks on play-action and put immediate pressure with strong interior defensive play around him.

It is clear that Coughlin has flashed serious potential this preseason, and he will be looking to build upon that in the final game of the off-season against the Patriots next Sunday. He is generally thought to be a lock to make the roster at this point.

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