You can never have enough pass rushers.
It’s a saying that would be cliche if it weren’t also so true. The best defenses don’t just rely on one “ace” to get pressure on the quarterback, but have waves of talented athletes they can use to overwhelm offenses. And given how far ahead of defenses offenses are, and continue to be as more college concepts are incorporated into NFL schemes.
The New York Giants need to improve both the front and back ends of their pass rush, secondary and pass rushers. Part of that could be adding a top-shelf pass rusher in the draft, but they could look to double-dip at the position or they might be forced to wait until later in the draft.
In either case, the Giants might want to take a close look at TCU edge rusher Ben Banogu.
- Good height, weight, and length for the position.
- Productive player, among the top of the draft class in quarterback hits and pressures (32.5 TFL and 17.0 sacks at TCU)
- Flashes excellent quickness and burst in the right situations.
- Good use of inside moves when the B-gap opens.
- Disciplined as a run defender.
- Has the strength to stand up blockers.
- Needs to be more aggressive taking on blockers. Too often content to catch and hold linemen.
- Doesn’t show the burst off the line you would expect.
- Can struggle to disengage from blockers.
- Doesn’t show his athleticism often enough.
Numbers Of Note
Statistics from Dan Pizzuta
- Per Sports Info Solutions, Banogu had 63 pressures during the 2018 season which was third in this draft class behind Josh Allen and Brian Burns.
- He also had 30 quarterback hits, which was tied with Allen for the most in this class
- His 21.5 run stuffs, per Football Study Hall, were seventh in this EDGE class
- Banogu also killed the Combine with a 134” broad jump (first among EDGE, eighth among all prospects) and 40” vertical (first among EDGE).
- At 109.7, Banogu’s Speed Score (a weight-adjusted 40 with 100 as average) was sixth in this class.
- He came in as the most athletic EDGE at the Combine, per SPARQ (a composite testing score) in the 97th percentile among NFL edge rushers.
What They’re Saying
“Edge player with good athleticism, who could struggle to translate to the next level unless he diversifies his approach as a rusher. His quickness created opportunities with inside moves and twists in college, but NFL tackles will shut and lock that interior door on him until he proves he can threaten them around the corner. Banogu could challenge for a nickel rush position in the future, but he still needs work.”
- Lance Zierlein (NFL.com - Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
Ben Banogu would be a good fit for the Giants’ scheme. He has the versatility to line up in a two or three-point stance depending on down, distance, or subpackage, and he has the athletic upside to be a dynamic rusher.
However, he has some concerns on the field which will need to be investigated by scouts and coaches. Namely, if he tested as one of the most explosively athletic EDGE players in the NFL, why didn’t he play that way? Banogu flashed the kind of burst and movement skills of which he was capable, but the flashes generally only came on stunts, twists, or when closing. If he was coached to be highly disciplined, almost over-cautious, and avoid over-running quarterbacks in a wide-open Big 12, that’s one thing. However, the disconnect between his obvious athleticism and the way he plays many reps is occasionally confusing.
And even so, he was productive at TCU, and flashed what we saw on the field at the Combine.
Banogu would certainly be an intriguing add as a developmental player with the team just using him in situations where he only has to worry about rushing the passer. Assuming his Combine workout hasn’t pushed him out of the mid-rounds, Banogu could be a useful player with high upside if the team can unlock that athletic potential.