Forgotten NY Giants pass-rusher could be playing for his Big Blue career in 2024

Injuries have derailed the former stud's development in East Rutherford.
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Oh, how quickly things can change in only a matter of two years. Back in 2021, then rookie NY Giants outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari was loved all over East Rutherford. The former second-round pick was a force in the trenches and his potential was through the roof.

That fall and winter, he finished with eight sacks, setting the new Big Blue record for first-year playmakers. After the Giants used a No. 5 overall pick on Kayvon Thibodeaux, the expectation was that these two would be monsters on the outside together.

That hasn't been the case. Ojulari hasn't been able to stay healthy in the past two campaigns and now Thibodeaux is dreaming of going to work with Brian Burns once Week 1 arrives. Ever since Burns made his way to town, Ojulari has become an afterthought for the Giants defense, which is a bummer.

Azeez Ojulari may not have a bright future with the Giants after all

It's wild to think about, but Ojulari may not be in the long-term plans for Joe Schoen and Co. In a recent piece from Bleacher Report, Kristopher Knox mentioned the fourth-year OLB as a top trade candidate for the Giants.

If Schoen was offered a mid-round pick for him, would he take it? It's tough to say, but the injury problems have to be in the back of his mind. You've got to feel for Ojulari too. When healthy, he can make a huge difference. Staying on the field is his problem, though.

Now that Burns, one of the best pass-rushers in the game, is donning a Giants uniform, Ojulari isn't thought of that much when you bring up the NY defense. Can he be productive off the bench and be a great depth piece? Absolutely.

Who knows, maybe seeing reduced action will help his body stay close to 100 percent, allowing him to be the kind of force we know he can be. Having said that, if he deals with more injuries in '24 and isn't providing much quality play while seeing less action, then perhaps it will be time for the NY front office to move on from him sooner rather than later.