The NY Giants seem to be going with a pass-rusher by committee approach, with newly signed Kyler Fackrell leading the way. Let’s grade the signing.
Although most NY Giants fans had high aspirations of the team landing a premier pass-rusher heading into free agency, GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge seem more than content to go with a committee approach to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2020.
The team had close to $80M in cap space, so it had more than enough to go in that direction if it wanted to. At worst, most thought Big Blue would find a way to retain Markus Golden, but that doesn’t seem likely with cap space at a minimum now.
Instead, the brass chose to add a very interesting player in former Green Bay Packers edge rusher, Kyler Fackrell. Fackrell is an interesting case and actually draws many parallels to Markus Golden himself, as he has had one breakout double-digit sack season in his four-year career just like Golden.
Also like Golden, he’s taking a one-year prove-it deal with the NY Giants to the tune of just $4.75M. On the surface, that may seem like a lot for a guy that had just one sack in 2019, but it’s very rare that a team is able to find a player with 10+ sacks on their resume for such a menial investment.
Furthermore, Fackrell was delegated to a part-time role in 2019 after Green Bay chose to add “The Smith Brothers” to resounding success under a new coaching regime. It still was curious to see such a precipitous dropoff in production, even though his snap counts went down from 59% to 40%. Although that’s a large margin, it doesn’t explain such a huge dip in production.
However, as we’ve seen around the rest of the NFL, sometimes players have unlucky seasons where they generate around the same type of pressure as they usually do without getting the same results. That appears to be the case with Fackrell, who still tallied 7 QB knockdowns and 12 QB hurries in his bit role.
Coming out of Utah State and being selected by the Packers in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft, Fackrell was actually thought to be more of an all-around linebacker than just an edge-rusher. Even though he wasn’t asked to drop back in coverage often in Green Bay’s scheme, he allowed just a 59.3 overall QB rating against him over 20 coverage snaps in 2018/2019.
Having an edge-rusher that can drop back and help in coverage is a huge advantage for a team running out of a 3/4 base. Fackrell should be the lead dog in the Giants’ committee approach, with O’Shane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter expected to be heavily in the mix as well.
Overall, while considering the value and what other edge rushers without the type of 2018 season Fackrell has on his resume, this is an excellent value signing. It’s hard to argue with Dave Gettleman’s rationale here, and hopefully, this turns out to be Markus Golden part two.
For my money, this was the team’s best overall free agent signing of the offseason when considering his low APY.
GMENHQ Official Grade: A