“Two New Linebackers“ – OLB Oshane Ximines, LB Ryan Connelly
Finally, with their third and fifth-round picks, the NY Giants selected OLB Oshane Ximines as the 95th overall pick and LB Ryan Connelly as the 143rd. Through 15 games this season, Ximines accumulated 24 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks. While he only started two games this past season, his contributions to the Giants defense did not go unnoticed.
Regardless, he has yet to have a significant impact on this Giants roster, and will hopefully improve on his rookie experience in the NFL. In short, he needs to get better.
Unlike Ximines, and prior to his season-ending ACL injury during Week 4 against the Washington Redskins, Ryan Connelly had been putting together an impressive rookie campaign, highlighted by 20 combined tackles (2 for a loss), 2 interceptions, 2 passes defended, and a sack. These are noteworthy stats, considering Connelly had only started three of the team’s first four games. In time, I think the Giants could have a solid impact player in their backfield.
Lastly, out of the 10 draft picks the Giants signed to rookie deals, only two of them were not able to demonstrate their skills this season. Offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei was taken in the 7th round with the 232nd overall pick.
However, due to a concussion at the start of training camp, he was placed on season-ending IR before their Week 1 matchup against Dallas. Likewise, the Giants’ final draft pick with the 245th overall pick, defensive lineman Chris Slayton was waived after the preseason and assigned to the Giants practice squad, where he has been since the beginning of the season.