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Niko Lalos competing to stick with Giants for third season

Lalos faces a lot of competition in that effort

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Giants
Niko Lalos
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a place on the 2022 New York Giants for edge defender Niko Lalos? Let’s discuss Lalos’s chances as we continue player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 270
Age: 24
Position: Edge
Experience: 2
Contract: One-year, $834,000 | 2022 cap hit: $834,000

Career to date

An undrafted free agent out of Dartmouth, Lalos emerged as a fan favorite in 2020 with a couple of big plays, including an interception and a fumble recovery, in six 2020 games after being elevated from the practice squad.

Lalos could not build on that surprising success in 2021, though, spending the entire season on the practice squad.

2022 outlook

It’s going to be difficult for Lalos to do more than make the practice squad. I’m not sure if he fits more as a standup edge defender or as a 5-tech defensive end in Wink Martindale’s defense. Either way, there is a lot of competition for Lalos to fend off.

On the edge, there is Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Quincy Roche, Elerson Smith, Jihad Ward, Cam Brown and several undrafted players.

If the Giants consider Lalos a hand in the ground defensive end, how many of those are they actually going to keep on the roster?

Making the practice squad for a third straight year would likely be a good outcome for Lalos.