The New York Giants are still in need of edge rushing depth. Big Blue has little depth at edge behind last year’s fifth pick Kayvon Thibodeaux and the 2021 second round selection Azeez Ojulari.
Foskey isn’t necessarily the modern day 3-4 outside linebacker at 6-foot-5, 264 pounds with less than ideal open field fluidity, but Wink Martindale doesn’t employ a traditional modern 3-4 defense. Martindale used a 290-pound Jihad Ward on the edge for over 500 snaps in 2022.
Matt Judon was 6-3, 275 pounds for Martindale in Baltimore; Pernell McPhee was 6-3, 265 pounds. Martindale doesn’t mind having bigger framed players on the edge to the boundary in certain situations, and the former four-star recruit out of De La Salle High School in California could be an option.
Prospect: Isaiah Foskey (7)
Games Watched: at USC (2022), at Navy (2022), at Clemson ((2022), vs. Stanford (2022), at North Carolina (2022), at Ohio State (2022),
Red Flags: N/A
Games Played: 41, started 25
Tackles for a loss: 31.5
Forced fumbles: 7
Passes defensed: 2
Games Played: 12, started 12
Tackles for a loss: 14.0
Forced fumbles: 1
Best: Size/length/frame, balanced, good initial burst, motor, long-arm technique, violence at tackle point, vs. tight ends, productive
Worst: Stiff in space, could refine pass-rush plan, overall hand use/shed technique, anchor/guesses as run defender, not bendy
Projection: Eventual starting edge for a multiple-front defense that can align as a boundary OLB or as a 4 or 5-technique in certain passing sub-packages. Could also play 4-3 even front edge.
The Antioch, California native is a long explosive player with active hands who could refine the way he employs said hands, which is presumably a correctable characteristic. There are few players in the draft with Foskey’s motor and desire to make a difference on every single play.
His athletic ability is more on display on the linear plane. He’s explosive and quick - which was substantiated through testing (1.49 10-yard-split at 264 pounds) - but his ability to quickly redistribute his weight while changing direction is sub-optimal.
He has a good get-off and fires off the ball low and quick. I loved how he crashed inside against Stanford to disrupt several different rushing attempts. The Fighting Irish team captain is agile sifting through trash on the line of scrimmage to find narrow crevices to get skinny. He does well as a one-gap penetrating who utilizes his upfield burst to disrupt and penetrate.
As a rusher, he has good juice and power upon exploding low-to-high into contact. He doesn’t always know what he’s doing with his hands - it’s okay, Ricky Bobby - but he’s displayed the ability to string moves together; it’s just not consistent, yet.
His hands aren’t precise, but his best pass-rush move is a powerful long-arm technique where Foskey stays low into contact and stresses blockers to achieve the half-man relationship. Beat Clemson’s Jordan McFadden (71) on a sack where his secondary move was a club/rip; Foskey cornered through contact and sacked the quarterback, but the play took a bit for all of that to materialize.
Foskey has below-average flexibility in his lower-half. It’s not terrible, but he doesn’t flatten like others in this class. Rather his quick get-off allows him to stress the edge and he has enough balance and strength - while staying low - to beat tackle’s to their set-points to orient his hips into the pocket - his motor and desire does the rest.
There’s certainly room to grow as a pass-rusher. However, developed hands and a better ability to consistently string moves together will only help. I like Foskey as a run defender when he is tasked to fire off the football and penetrate, but he’s a tick too slow when reading and reacting.
He tosses tight ends away, but his ability to shed tackles quickly is only average. Tackles with power got him back on his heels and he seemed to struggle reading and shedding against the better offensive tackles (Ohio State game). He also struggled with the eye-candy of Navy’s offense.
Sometimes when reading, he pops out of his stance and loses leverage, allowing tackles to get underneath his pads and control/steer. He has to keep his backside down and anchor better when reading. His hands are constantly working and looking for ways to disengage, but the effectiveness isn’t as consistent as one would desire. Still, he’s excellent in pursuit on the backside.
Foskey’s character is reportedly through the roof. His competitive toughness is impossible to miss on tape - he is running all over the place. He has range, is explosive, and can leverage his burst to convert speed to power as a rusher. He dropped into coverage 121 times at Notre Dame; he isn’t the most fluid operator in space, but he’s functional to the boundary and does a solid job getting his hands up in the air.
He’s a high floor player who will carve out a defensive role very early, but his special teams upside is through the roof. Foskey blocked four punts at Notre Dame; he uses all 82⅛ inches of his wing-span to flip games in the third phase of football that isn’t discussed as much as the other two.
Overall Grade: 7.3
Isaiah Foskey will start his career as a situational pass rusher in sub-packages who can earn a starting role during his first year, depending on how he adjusts and takes to coaching. Foskey broke Justin Tuck’s sack record at Notre Dame. He has an insatiable knack of finding paths to sack the quarterback, and that knack will better be satiated when he understands how to maximize his traits.
There’s scheme versatility with Foskey even though he’s projected - like many players at edge in this class - as an even front end. Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman used Foskey all over the Fighting’ Irish’s hybrid four-man front. Foskey is used to different alignments and assignments. That should benefit him moving forward. His floor is high, and he’ll be an immediate contributor on special teams.