Who will rush the quarterback?
This has been a question for some time now. They traded their sack leader in Vernon (7.0 in 2018) but he was very inconsistent and was susceptible to injury during his tenure with the Giants. Now, they don’t have a player on their roster that has recorded more than 5.5 sacks in a Giant uniform and that was rookie defensive lineman B.J. Hill last year.
The did sign former Arizona Cardinal outside linebacker Markus Golden, who played for Bettcher in Arizona and recorded 12.5 sacks in 2016. But Golden’s career was sidetracked by a knee injury in 2017 and then a position change last year. The Giants are hopeful Golden can recapture his 2016 form now that he’s back in the right defense and healthy.
The real solution might rest on three players Gettleman drafted. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, a third round pick out of Georgia last year and two rookies – Old Dominion outside linebacker Oshane Ximines and Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence.
Carter had four sacks last year and showed some flashes rushing the passer. The Giants would like to see him take the next step and have made him a starter. Ximines will vie for time with Golden and Carter and no one is sure how the three of them will fit along with veteran Kareem Martin.
The Giants believe Lawrence is more than just a traditional nose tackle. The see him as a three-down player who can create pressure up the middle which will also open up opportunities for others. There will also be pressure packages that Bettcher will dial up to take advantage of his young and talented secondary.