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Kyler Fackrell: How big an impact can he make with New York Giants?

Was his 2018 season a fluke, or something he can repeat?

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Kyler Fackrell
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Which Kyler Fackrell will the New York Giants get in 2020? The one who had 10.5 sacks for the Green Bay Packers in 2018? Or, the one who has only 6 sacks over his other three NFL seasons, just one of them in 2019?

After signing him to a one-year, $4.6 million contract the Giants are, of course, betting on some semblance of the 2018 version of Fackrell showing up.

Let’s take a closer look.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 245
Age: 28
Position: Edge
Experience: 4
Contract: One-year, $4.6 million ($3.5 million guaranteed) | UFA: 2021

How he got here

With the Giants looking for both edge rushing help and players who fit into the defense new coordinator Patrick Graham wants to run the Giants chose Fackrell in free agency over some bigger name, more expensive free agents.

A third-round pick by Green Bay out of Utah State in 2016, Fackrell spent most of his time with the Packers as a reserve or sub-package player. In 2018, though, when Graham was his position coach, Fackrell played a career-high 623 snaps and had what stands easily as his most productive NFL season.

The 28-year-old admitted after he signed that reuniting with Graham was a big part of the reason he came to the Giants.

“I always loved coming into work and working with Coach Graham,” said Fackrell. “That was a big thing coming to the Giants, that he was here and the respect that I have for him.”

“He is a great coach,” added Fackrell. “The thing that I like most about him is just his passion and love for football. He’ll get up on the table and scream and yell if he needs to, but it all comes from a great place. It comes from him being grateful for the life he’s living and what he gets to do to provide for his family.”

2020 outlook

In the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast above, Evan Western of SB Nation’s Packers site, Acme Packing Company, called Fackrell’s 2018 a “flukish seeming year.” Western said Fackrell had a “very unsustainable number of sacks given the number of pressures that he had.”

That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

How big a role the Giants will need Fackrell to play is uncertain right now. The Giants have Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines as well as possibly having Markus Golden should he end up with the Giants after they used the unrestricted free agent tender on him. Golden has until July 22 to find a deal with a new team or his rights belong exclusively to the Giants. The Giants also used late-round picks on Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown.

Fackrell seems likely to be a player who will help and whom Graham will know how to utilize, but not a player who will be a consistent game-changer for the Giants.

In a film study of Fackrell, our Nick Falato said this:

“Sacks are one statistic we use to quantify success because they’re tangible, but it’s not the only measure to assess a player’s value. I believe knowing how a player acquires sacks is important. Are they consistently winning one on ones? Can they string multiple moves together? Convert speed to power? Are they hustle sacks?

“Fackrell earns hustle sacks, but he has also been able to string multiple moves together. ...

“He displays burst, but isn’t the most bendy or athletic edge player, and he can be used in underneath coverage if need be. He as the ability to set the edge, and does a solid job holding the point of attack, but he’s an adequate overall run defender. ...

“Overall, this is a very low-cost, high-upside signing at a paramount position of need for the Giants. It’s a value, similar to the Markus Golden deal last season. There are traits to like about Fackrell, but he isn’t the No. 1 edge player the Giants need.”