Finally! The last of our series of player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the New York Giants will bring to training camp in just a few short days. Defensive end Kerry Wynn, however, will by no means be the least important Giant this season. With the status of Jason Pierre-Paul remaining uncertain, and with the Giants searching for other defensive ends who can both play the run and rush the passer Wynn has an opportunity to become an important part of the defensive line rotation.
Let's take a closer look at the second-year player.
2014 Season in Review
An undrafted free agent from the University of Richmond, Wynn made the season-opening 53-man roster after a stellar preseason. Wynn forced his way into the Giants' plans with 14 tackles and two sacks, 10 quarterback hurries, eight run stops and an overall preseason Pro Football Focus grade of +2.0, of which +1.9 was for run defense.
Wynn was inactive for most of the season, finally getting an opportunity in Week 13 after Mathias Kiwanuka suffered a season- and probably career-ending knee injury. Wynn played 192 defensive snaps over the final five games. He finished with two sacks, nine stops and an overall Pro Football Focus grade of -0.4 (+3.8 in run defense, -5.4 rushing the passer).
""All I've ever wanted is a chance," Wynn said during minicamp. "I'm forever fortunate and grateful that the Giants gave me that chance."
2015 Season Outlook
The absence of Pierre-Paul during training camp, and perhaps longer, obviously opens a door for the remaining defensive ends to play an increased role. The Giants have Robert Ayers and Damontre Moore, known as better pass rushers than run defenders. Veteran George Selvie is the opposite, a better run defender than pass rusher. Owamagbe Odighizuwa is a rookie third-round pick who missed most of the spring, so still has much to prove.
Could Wynn end up being the all-around every down defensive end the Giants appear to be in need of? Perhaps.
"That's something [the depth chart] I can't control, it's not something I worry about. I just make sure I go out there every day and put my best foot forward. If you do that good things will happen for you," Wynn said. "I definitely have a lot to improve, but I feel like I can play both well."
Wynn, of course, is competing for playing time against more heralded players who have fancier resumes, fatter wallets and higher draft positions. He doesn't worry about that.
"Before I even got here I knew I belonged, it was just more so proving it to others," Wynn said. "I've always been confident in my abilities, it's just making other people believe it as well."
He seems on his way to accomplishing just that.