By Craig J. Santucci @NYGiantsRush
Azeez Ojulari is a unique player from the standpoint that his tape gives me the impression that he is a pure pass rusher. A pin your ears back and go, type of player.
Over the last six or seven years the Giants have not had much success with pass rushers. The current group of “Edge” players is a mixed bag.
Between Inside & Outside backers and converted Defensive Ends, this is a large group, but few actually rush the passer on a regular basis. rs.
Zo Carter hasn’t quite broken through and over 4 years. In 2020 Patrick Graham seemed to have Carter on track to have his best year as a pro before rupturing his Achilles Tendon.
Markus Golden was sent back to Arizona
Oshane Ximines was a talent on the rise talent as the 1st player drafted from Old Dominion University. Ximines has power and the strength to make an impact; however, he also hasn’t put it together yet. This disconnect falls on the James Bettcher system, the lack of good coaching, and the staff converted him from his natural position as a Defensive End to an Outside Linebacker.
Carter Coughlin a 7th round pick from Minnesota has outkicked his coverage as he showcased to everyone how and why he belonged. Throughout the season he showed nice progress and athleticism. He is light weight at 235 pounds and can be controlled at the line of scrimmage by big athletic tackles.
Kyle Fackrell was not resigned.
Ifeadi Odenigbo is coming from the Vikings; however was born and raised in NJ during his younger years. Odenigbo will be a nice player who also flashed in 2019/2020 with 10.5 sacks and 57 tackles
Cam Brown is still developing, but could be called on to rush the passer as he develops. Blake Martinez has been known to stunt up the middle in Patrick Grahams defense.
.Azeez Ojulari is exciting to watch. It is easy to see that his acceleration, his actual first step off the edge is what makes him different. Upon engaging with the tackle he has them lunging and with a slight dip, Ojulari is off to the races. At times these college tackles looked completely over matched and surprised as if like didn’t think Ojulari would be coming that fast and that hard.
He has a good base against the run and breaks down against slasher, twitchy backs. However, he is a pure pass rusher. He plays the run because it’s the job, but that is secondary to the QB prize. If you are a college football fan, his game reminds me a bit of Josh Allen who was on the Giant’s radar in 2019 and was drafted by Jasonville.
Ojulari has some similariries to former New York Giant great , Osi Umenyiora. Bother were 2nd Round Draft Picks. Ferious outside speed, great dip, and bend to get around the edge. But what Ojulari does that Umenyiora made a staple of doing week in and week out was beating the tackle to the outside, and the commitment to laying out, wrapping up, and tackling the QB from the backside. Ojulari has the same ability to burst forward with great body control never allowing the QB to step out of his tackle. He also has 4 forced fumbles in 2020, a very familiar trait of one No. 72.
It’s too early to know if they see him as 3 down linebacker or a situational pass rusher. The rookie has the inside track on knowing what will be expected as Andrew Thomas, the Giants 2020 1st round pick is one of his closest friends. One could see Ojulari taking away snaps from Zo Carter as he enters his final contract year.