The names don’t exactly pop. Kyler Fackrell. Lorenzo Carter. Oshane Ximines. Chris Peace. Cam Brown. Carter Coughlin. A trio of third-round picks, two seventh-round rookies and an undrafted free agent plucked off waivers last summer. As currently constituted, these are the New York Giants’ edge rushers.
It’s a position where they lack name recognition and upper-echelon talent. One can argue it’s the league’s most lackluster group of edge rushers.
The Giants might still add reinforcements no, not Jadeveon Clowney. That is not happening. But they’re optimistic after using the rare “May 5” tender on Markus Golden, who led the team with 10 sacks last season. If Golden doesn’t sign with another team by the start of training camp, he would return at 110% of last year’s salary. There seems to be some optimism from Golden’s side that an offer could arise over the next six weeks, but the Giants view each passing day as a sign that their most accomplished pass-rusher from 2019 will be back.
Regardless, once players get back on the field, the dominoes will start falling, and it’s likely at least one will land with the Giants.
However, if they don’t make a move, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will have to make do with the group of relative unknowns on the roster. The Giants will be looking to scheme pressure instead of relying on a No. 1 pass-rusher.
“You know part of it’s going to be scheme. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Graham and [coach] Joe [Judge] and the defensive guys,” Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said after the draft. “We’re going to be fine. It’ll get better. No, we didn’t draft what you guys would call a blue-goose pass-rusher, but a lot of the time it’s a group effort. It’s not about who gets the sacks, it’s about the number of sacks and the number of pressures.”
Even if Golden returns, the Giants will be lacking the kind of pass-rusher who demands double teams on every snap. A personnel executive and defensive coach both recently described Golden to ESPN as a quality No. 2. The rest were viewed as “solid, capable players in depth-level roles.”