Every year it seems like the New York Giants find at least one undrafted defensive lineman who excites the fan base with his work during the spring and summer, though it may not translate to making the roster or having long-term success. Is former Penn State defensive end Evan Schwan going to be that player this time around?
It really is unwise to try to draw any conclusions about line play — defensive or offensive — from “non-contact” spring practices conducted in shorts and t-shirts. Still, it was hard not to notice how often Schwan made his way into the backfield during Giants OTAs and mandatory mini-camp.
Let’s take a closer look at the 6-foot-6, 263-pound 23-year-old as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.
2016 Season In Review
Schwan had career highs in sacks (5.5), tackles (31) and tackles for loss (8) for Penn State in 2016. The 5.5 sacks, in fact, were the only ones of his collegiate career.
In a draft profile, SB Nation’s Black Shoe Diaries wrote this about Schwan:
Schwan has outstanding size that the NFL desires for its defensive ends. He showed improvement during each season at Penn State, and still has the potential to continue to greatly improve at the next level. He also has all the intangibles needed to succeed at the next level- he’s a coachable, intelligent player who will do whatever is asked of him and plays to the whistle each play.
Schwan does not have the speed needed to become a top-flight pass rusher, but does everything well across the board, especially in regards to run support. He regularly made plays in the second half, getting stronger as the game went on for the most part. Schwan will get an opportunity either as a late round pick or undrafted free agent. With the right situation, Schwan could develop into a steady NFL player for years to come.
When he signed with the Giants, Penn Live wrote:
Schwan has tools with a 6-6, 263-pound frame that could lend itself to either defensive end or linebacker at the next level. He was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.69 seconds and did the 20-yard shuttle in 4.46 seconds.
2017 Season Outlook
We have seen this “unknown lineman impresses early” act before. Greg Campbell last year. Kelcy Quarles a few years back. Brad Bars. Adewale Ojomo. I’m sure there are others whose names escape me currently. All had their spring/training camp/preseason moments. Significantly, though, no regular season impact.
Can Schwan be different? The tremendous improvement he showed as a senior at Penn State gives you reason to be optimistic that his upward trend will continue. Still, with Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul starting, and the likes of Romeo Okwara, Kerry Wynn, Avery Moss, Devin Taylor and perhaps Owamagbe Odighizuwa ahead of him on the depth chart Schwan faces long odds.
Still, if you can rush the passer NFL teams will find a place for you. We will find out this August if Schwan can do that once the pads come on.