Can seventh-round pick Carter Coughlin provide the New York Giants with some much-needed help as an edge pass rusher?
Let’s take a closer look.
How he got here
Carter had 22.5 sacks in 47 games for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Giants picked him 218th overall, the first first of their four seventh-round selections.
“He’s a guy that gives us more speed on the edge,” head coach Joe Judge said when the Giants selected Carter. “He brings some length with him. He plays with a high motor and a lot of aggressiveness. He was productive in Minnesota’s scheme and with the way we are going to play guys on the edge in different packages, he’s someone with a lot of value. He will come in here and compete.”
Pro Football Network says Coughlin “isn’t your typical seventh-round pick” and lists him as an underdog candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Coughlin showed good athleticism on tape, showing an ability to be an effective pass rusher off the edge for the Gophers, while also showcasing the ability to drop back in coverage and play in space. Coughlin backed up that tape by showing out during the NFL Combine, putting up an “Elite” RAS of 9.8.
Expecting Coughlin to win, or even compete for, DROY is probably pie-in-the-sky dreaming. If, as a rookie, he can work his way into the rotation and boost a pass rush that needs the help that would be a success.
Coughlin has Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, Kyler Fackrell in front of him. Perhaps Markus Golden, too.
At just 236 pounds, it would seem unrealistic to expect Coughlin to be a capable edge-setter against the run or a player who could play significant snaps as a defensive end in 4-3 alignments. He did, however, do both of those things at Minnesota.
Coughlin said he played “kind of a hybrid outside linebacker” for the Golden Gophers that allowed him to “play a bunch of different aspects of what an outside linebacker could look like or even a defensive end.”
Chris Pflum suggested the idea of using Coughlin in wide-9 alignments or as an up-the-middle blitzer.
In whatever form it takes, if Coughlin — as the 218th pick — can add to the Giantd’ pass rush at all that would have to be considered a plus.