Indiana LB Micah McFadden
In our initial draft grades, we gave the selection of Micah McFadden at pick 146 overall an A-. Honestly, that might not even be high enough for the potential asset the Giants have landed in the fifth round. He has perhaps the clearest path to a starting role outside of the two first-round picks and possesses the characteristics to suggest he could excel in this defense.
The inside linebacker position for the Giants is currently one of the weakest units on the roster. Indeed, 2020 Mr. irrelevant Tae Crowder is far from a locked-in starter and Blake Martinez is returning from an ACL injury. It is likely that Crowder, McFadden and sixth-round pick Darrian Beavers will share time next to Martinez when he is healthy, and will all be given the opportunity to earn the starting role.
McFadden appears to be the perfect fit for this Wink Martindale defense
McFadden had the highest pass-rushing grade for all off-the-ball linebackers in 2021, per PFF. His clear strength lines up perfectly with the blitz-heavy nature of a Wink Martindale defense and it’s clear he was drafted for this specific scheme.
The Indiana defense McFadden played in during his college career was also a blitz-heavy scheme. He should find it easier than others to acclimate to the professional level with the similarities between his collegiate and professional schemes.
The production McFadden returned in the Hoosiers system is what should excite Giants fans. He lead the team in both tackles (77) and sacks (6.5) in 2021 and was a leader on the Indiana defense. If he can bring even some of that production to a lean inside linebacker room, he will be a great asset for Martindale – particularly as a fifth-round selection.