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Giants 2021 roster profile: LB Carter Coughlin

Can 2020 seventh-round pick ascend to bigger role?

New York Giants v Seattle Seahawks
Carter Coughlin
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Carter Coughlin is aiming to use his pass rush skill, versatility and special teams acumen to carve out a bigger role with the New York Giants in 2021. Let’s take a closer look at Coughlin as we continue profiling the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 236
Age: 23
Position: LB
Experience: 1
Contract: Year 2 of four-year, $3.405 million contract | Guaranteed at sign: $110,144 | 2021 cap hit: $807,536

Career to date

A seventh-round pick out of Minnesota (218th overall), Coughlin was pressed into moderately heavy duty during the second half of the season as injuries struck the Giants at linebacker. Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines suffered season-ending injuries. Kyler Fackrell and Tae Crowder also missed a number of games.

Coughlin played 192 snaps, including 45 in Week 12 vs. the Seattle Seahawks and 64 Week 13 vs. the Arizona Cardinals. He finished with a sack, a pair of quarterback hits and 17 tackles (13 solo).

Carter’s rookie season was complicated. He was an edge defender at Minnesota, and the Giants spent the early part of the season converting him to an inside linebacker. Then, when the injury situation struck, the Giants ended up moving him back outside. He ended up playing 162 snaps outside and 25 inside, per Pro Football Focus. That back-and-forth is not an ideal learning situation for a first-year player.

Coughlin ended up with a less-than-spectacular Pro Football Focus grade of 42.7 (49.0 run defense | 59.6 pass rush | 29.1 pass coverage).

2021 outlook

It’s tough to see a regular role on defense for Coughlin in 2021, unless there are injuries. Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland would appear to be the options inside next to Blake Martinez. On the outside, Coughlin is in a horde of players that includes Carter, Ximines, Ryan Anderson, Cam Brown, Ifeadi Odenigbo, second-round pick Azeez Ojulari and fourth-round pick Elerson Smith.

It isn’t, though, difficult to see Coughlin making the 53-man roster. The versatility to play inside and outside, along with the fact that he emerged as a regular on special teams (147 snaps in 2020) would seem to make it probable that the Giants find a spot on the roster for him.