Why unheralded NY Giants signing could be defense’s sleeper

Free agent addition Ifeadi Odenigbo has a real chance to make a real impact on the NY Giants’ pass-rush rotation

Much has been made of the NY Giants’ big spending on offense this season, and rightfully so with the additions of former NFL leading receiver Kenny Golladay, along with veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph and first-round wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

Likewise, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson arrives with sky-high expectations to provide much-needed stability on the perimeter opposite Pro Bowler James Bradberry on defense.

But, Jackson isn’t the only addition to coordinator Patrick Graham‘s defense that has the chance to make a real impact.

Despite not investing a first-round pick or premium free agent dollars addressing an inconsistent pass-rush, former Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo has the potential to make a real impact.

Last season, Odenigbo produced 3.5 sacks in 15 games, and has 7.5 through his first three seasons, along with 59 total tackles.

“I like the way he plays football,” Graham told reporters last week during Giants mandatory minicamp. “He has versatility inside and outside on the line. Natural pass rush ability. Plays strong with his hands. Physical edge setter and a great attitude.”

The NY Giants might need Odenigbo to quickly ascend into a dominant edge presence, after both Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines suffered season-ending injuries last season and enter training camp atop the pass-rush rotation.

How long they stay there, could depend on Odenigbo.

“He has great quickness and is a really smart and productive player,” former Minnesota Vikings general manager and Executive of The Year Jeff Diamond recently told GmenHQ. “I was surprised the Vikings didn’t tender him after he had seven sacks as a part-time player in 2019, and led the team in quarterback pressures this past season.

“I think he’ll do well with the Giants.”

Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday. Email Matt: Matt.Lombardo@FanSided.com, Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL