Where will the pass rush come from? Since the New York Giants did not have a chance to draft Chase Young and did not make a big-money play for a big-name free agent pass rusher, that has been the biggest question Giants fans have had about the team’s 2020 defense.
It will likely come from a number of places. Second-year man Oshane Ximines, though, seems likely to be a big part of the answer. Let’s take a closer look at X-Man as we near the completion of our look at the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp in a few days.
Contract: Year 2 of four-year, $3.452 million rookie deal | Guaranteed: $836,780
How he got here
Ximines became the first player ever drafted from Old Dominion when the Giants took him near the end of Round 3, 95th overall. He went 89 spots before ODU teammate Travis Fulgham, selected in Round 6, 184th overall, by the Detroit Lions. That came after a college career in which Ximines was a dominant pass rusher with 32.5 career sacks in 50 games, 11.5 of those coming in his final collegiate season.
When the Giants selected him , GM Dave Gettleman said “the kid really [has] legitimate pass rush ability.”
Ximines flashed that ability with 4.5 sacks ans 12 quarterback pressures as a rookie. Oddly, though, Ximines’ playing time was spotty the second half of the season. He played season highs of 63 and 51 snaps in Weeks 5 and 6, but never played more than 35 snaps in a game the rest of the season. Three times over the final five games, Ximines played fewer than 20 snaps.
The Giants’ pass rush wasn’t nearly good enough a season ago. They added Kyler Fackrell, but he isn’t a dominant edge rusher. They might get Markus Golden — a good player but not a dominant pass rusher — back. They hope for added production from Leonard Williams and second-year man Dexter Lawrence. They are hopeful Lorenzo Carter takes the step forward many expected a season ago.
Add all of that up and it’s a whole lot of crossing their fingers and hoping. You can add hoping Ximines take a big Year 2 step forward, as well.
Giants’ fans are also hopeful that X-Man will become the pass rusher the Giants need. Witness our pass rush poll results from earlier in the offseason. Ximines received 78 percent of the vote when we asked which Giant had the best chance of recording his first 10-sack season in 2020.
Which Giant defender has the best chance of reaching 10 sacks for the first time in 2020?
This poll is closed
We don’t yet know exactly how defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will deploy his edge players, and how much Ximines will play in a rotation with Carter, Fackrell, and — maybe — Golden.
A lot like Carter a year ago, Ximines is the Giants’ Great Pass Rushing Hope for 2020. Asking for double-digit sacks might be pushing it, but the bet here is that Ximines does take a step forward as a key part of the Giants’ defense during the upcoming season.