Whenever the New York Giants have been at their best throughout their history, they’ve employed a ferocious pass rush.
Whether it was the late 1980’s Giants with Lawrence Taylor or the 2007-2012 Big Blue wrecking crew, which featured guys like Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, the New York Giants have always been synonymous with getting pressure on the quarterback in their glory days.
Three edge rushers the New York Giants could look to acquire:
While the New York Giants were much improved in the NFL last season under new head coach Joe Judge, they still need to improve in the pass rushing department.
The New York Giants were in the bottom half of the NFL last season in blitz percentage. So if they don’t plan on bringing rushers, they’ll need to manufacture pressure from their front four. As such, they might consider drafting an edge rusher who could naturally get into the opposing backfield.
On that note, let's have a look at three players the New York Giants might draft to bolster their unit up front:
#1 Gregory Rousseau
The New York Giants could have an interesting time evaluating University of Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau.
On paper, he would seem to the type of dazzling talent the New York Giants would love to have opposing offenses gameplan against. In the 2019 NFL season, in just 13 games played, Rousseau tallied an eye-popping 15.5 sacks. In total, he registered 19.5 tackles for losses that season, in an incredible display of effectiveness.
However, the problem is that one eye-popping season is basically the only campaign Rousseau has had in college football.
In 2018 he barely got on the field, playing only one game. The young player decided to opt out of the 2020 season due to family-related reasons. The good news is that Rousseau should have minimal wear and tear on his body heading into this season's NFL. The potential bad news is that he may not be as seasoned as other prospects.
#2 Kwity Paye
Unlike Rousseau, Kwity Paye out of the University of Michigan has a little more of a resume than his fellow draft mate.
He saw the field in each of his four seasons with the Wolverines, with his junior campaign being his most impressive. Paye posted 6.5 sacks that year and registered 12.5 tackles for losses in one of the most respected conferences in the country.
However, his final season at Michigan painted a bit of an incomplete picture. The football team only played six games, of which Paye appeared in just four. Teams likely won’t ding him too much for the relative lack of production last season, given the circumstances. But the New York Giants will have to take a long look to make sure the 2019 version of Paye is the one they’ll be getting.
#3 Jaelan Phillips
The New York Giants could do some homework on another prospect who played for the Miami Hurricanes, just like Rousseau did.
His teammate Jaelan Phillips is also projected to go in the first round of the NFL draft and has a lot of ability when it comes to getting after the quarterback.
Phillips only played one year in Miami, but his 2020 season was extremely impressive. He logged eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for losses. He spent the first two years of his college career playing for the UCLA Bruins.
His main challenge at UCLA was staying healthy, as he had a myriad of injuries that forced him to retire from football before transferring to Miami. Many times college players who have a track record of getting hurt continue to suffer ailments in the NFL, so the New York Giants will have to weigh that in their assessment of the player.