Carter Coughlin: Ultimate Underdog


by Craig Santucci @NYGiantsRush

For whatever reason, the Giants seem to attract the ultimate underdog. Over the last few decades, the Giants have had a list of players that just defy the odds and become cult heroes and game-changers for the New York Giants

Some of the most highly touted college athletes fail on the professional level; but whatever the reason the Giants seem to have a knack for finding players that refuse to be forgotten or overlooked.

  • Jesse Armstead – at only 6’1″, the 8th round draft pick becomes a 5x pro bowler, a top NFL linebacker, and one the best backers in New York Giants History. It’s no coincidence that Armstead is in the Giants Ring of Honor.
  • Chase Blackburn – This undrafted Linebacker out the University of Akron goes from UDFA to special teams ace to back up outside & inside linebacker to fan-favorite to NFL starter to 2x Super Bowl champion. He had two pivot picks against Rodgers and Brady.
  • Victor Cruz – Thrown off the team at UMass to walking onto the New York Giants to torching the Jets in pre-season with 3 Touchdowns to becoming a top NFL receiver, Vitor Cruz defied it all. Cruz salsa danced his way to a Super Bowl Victory and captured the hearts of Giants fans everywhere. Jersey strong!

Those are big shoes to fill for Carter Coughlin the 7th round draft pick out of Minnesota, but he reminds me of that guy who just shocks the world. The one common thread that Armstead, Blackburn, and Cruz had was they weren’t about to let a good opportunity go to waste. They worked, they didn’t let the big city lights suck them in, they didn’t let the “Open All Night” blinking sign deter them from their dream.

To the Giants fans, Carter Coughlin is an unknown, a long shot to make an impact. The fans said the same thing about Armstead, Blackburn, and Cruz.

Family First

Coughlin has shown his strong family roots by passing on the opportunity to play ball at Ohio State to stay home and play where his family played, the University of Minnesota. Giants fans gravitate to a player that embraces “The Family”.

Motor

Coughlin has an outstanding motor and is extremely disruptive. He is great against the run, reads his keys, and is a very disciplined player. He has an impressive nose for the ball and should be a special teams stand out from day one.

Pass Rush

Coughlin is a rush the passer. While he’s not a quick-twitch athlete with amazing bend around the corner, he does have a knack for getting flat and driving inside to make a play. He’s at his best when he rips, swims, or spins into space. He racked up 22.5 sacks and 158 tackles at Minnesota.

Transition to Backer

Coughlin does not have the frame (236 Lbs) to tangle with NFL tackles. He does not have the lower body explosion to bull rush 320 lbs. offensive tackles. If Coughlin jumps into and embraces the outside linebacker position he will thrive. He is very good in space and can cover, as well as rushing the passer in certain packages.

Attitude:

Sometimes it’s a player’s attitude that endears him to the coaches and the fans. Mark Herzlich (UDFA) and Howard Cross (6th Rd pick) were two other players that embraced the hard work and made the best of the situation that was delivered to them. Why do you think Judge brought over Nate Ebner from New England? Because the ex-rugby player embraces the opportunity to compete.

Carter Coughlin will compete. Don’t be shocked if he makes a name for himself.

Comparisons: A mix of Connor Barwin and Zack Baun


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