The New York Giants have a ton of young talent on their roster ready to break out, but none as ready as second-year linebacker Lorenzo Carter.
NFL.com, in its State of the Franchise post outlining the current state of the New York Giants, named second-year outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter as the team’s breakout star for the 2019 season.
“2019 breakout star: Lorenzo Carter, outside linebacker. One of the reasons the Giants might have felt comfortable moving Vernon was the presence of Carter, who did show some promise during his rookie season. Now the 2018 third-round pick is not only going to increase his workload, but he’s going to need to replace Vernon’s production, too. The Giants did sign Markus Golden and draft Oshane Ximines in the third round to boost the pass rush this offseason, but I’m expecting Carter to take a huge step in 2019.” – Adam Rank, NFL.com
Rank is not the first analyst to cite that Carter is poised to take a step up this year. It’s only natural to think so. All spring, the coaches and general manager Dave Gettleman have been singing the praises of Carter, who will now be the starting SAM – or strong side – outside linebacker this season.
Carter, a third-round pick out of Georgia in last year’s NFL Draft, played in 15 games for Big Blue, starting two. He recorded four sacks, 43 total tackles (30 solo) with seven tackles for a loss and 10 quarterback hits.
Carter played 441 snaps on defense last year which was 40.2% of the team’s total defensive snaps. You can expect him to nearly double that this season with Vernon gone. It’s true, the Giants will be looking to Golden and Ximines on the field in passing situations as well this year, but those snaps could likely come at the expense of the other starting outside linebacker, Kareem Martin.
Touted as a top talent out of high school, Carter had an up-and-down career at Georgia which caused him to drop to the third round, but the Giants still believe he can reach his full potential as an NFL player.
Earlier this year, Carter told reporters he plans on being “a deadly pass rusher” this year.
It is still a mystery how defensive coordinator James Bettcher plans on deploying al of the new weapons Gettleman has supplied him with this season. The Giants used seven of their ten draft choices on defensive players this spring and signed numerous other veterans in free agency.