How do the Giants Bring Back a Feared Pass Rush!

by Michael J. Basile @MdoubleJB

The Giants are at their best when their pass rush is feared. In order for them to get back to a defense that mows down quarterbacks the following is needed:

  1. Free agent bargains –  with a high-end motor
  2. Help through the draft –  Round 2 or Round 3
  3. OV needs to be a 3 down stand up player.

The first point deal with the fact the New York Giants need cap room.  Lower priced free-agents are needed.  Contributing bodies that don’t require monster contracts.  They currently have 2 of the highest paid defensive ends in the league with Jason Pierre Paul and Olivier Vernon.  Damon “Snacks” Harrison is 11th highest Defensive Tackle salary in the NFL.  If they were to sign another top of the market defensive lineman, it would hinder all Free Agent moves for this off-season, squashing any chance of upgrading the horrible the offensive line.

Some of the players you shouldn’t have to break the bank for include:

Trent Murphy, Washington Redskins.  He was injured last year so his value shouldn’t be sky-high.   He has a nasty streak and has proven he can get after the QB.

Adrian Clayborn, Atlanta Falcons.  Not a #1 guy, and his career high of 9.5 sacks last year is deceiving as 6 came in 1 game.

Alex Okafor, New Orleans Saints.  Also coming off an injury.

Olsen Pierre, Arizona Cardinals.  Played for Bettcher, knows the scheme and will be reasonable.  Plus he’s a NJ guy!

–   Matt Longacre, LA Rams.  Played in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense, had 5.5 sacks in limited time.

Jeremiah Attaochu, LA Chargers.  Was a 2nd round pick, is only 25 years old and Gettleman says, “Never give up” on talent.

This also seems to be a rich draft for Defensive tackles and ends: ( and () These articles show the quantity at those positions, which is exactly what an old school type GM like Dave Gettleman values.

One of the reasons the Giants defense dropped off in 2017 was because of the lack of depth behind the starters.  In 2016 OV played 95% + of the total possible snaps, and other than JPPs late season injury they stayed relatively healthy.  Fast forward to 2017, and it wasn’t quite the same. Ask the Eagles how important it is to have quality depth to rotate players in during the 4th quarter without a significant drop off in talent. If the Giants can draft a few players to compete and sign a cheaper free agent, they can get the most out of JPP and OV by keeping them fresh.

OV will be asked to be a full-time stand up player in a 3-4 type scheme, and he’s fully capable of doing that.  JPP is athletic as well, but Vernon is younger and healthier, with something to prove after an average 2017 year.   OV can prove to be versatile in new NY Giants Defensive scheme compliments of DC James Bettcher’s. Vernon can be used in the same way Bettcher used Chandler Jones in Arizona, where he had 28 sacks in the last 2 seasons combined.

Bettcher is tasked with getting the big blue defense back to a top unit. In 2016 they were 10th in yardage and 2nd in points allowed but in 2017 with similar personnel, they fell to 31st in yardage and to the bottom 5 in points allowed; Additional help from free agency makes sense only if the price is right, and the draft has plenty of options.

Olivier Vernon is the true key to making Bettcher’s D successful and once again a feared defensive unit.