Come hell or high water, the New York Giants must add a pass-rusher this offseason in order to cure an ill that has plagued the team for years now. Whether that happens through the NFL Draft or free agency remains to be seen.
Big Blue totaled just 30 sacks in 2018, tied for the second-fewest in the NFL. As it stands now, the G-Men have a decision to make on the team’s current top pass-rusher, Olivier Vernon, who under-performed overall last season, but did finish strong with six sacks in his last five games.
Regardless of what the Giants decide to do with Vernon and his large salary, relying on the veteran alone to step up his game and improve the pass-rush would be a foolish endeavor. That’s especially true when you consider Vernon has missed nine games the past two seasons and isn’t reliable by any stretch.
The 2019 NFL Draft will have plenty of options for the Giants in the first round. If the G-Men don’t fill the void by signing a pass-rusher in free agency, these are some of the players the team can target in the draft.
If the Giants were to draft Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen, it would be a huge victory for Dave Gettleman and company.
Allen is an elite talent and profiles best in a 3-4 defense, which is a perfect fit for New York. Outside of Ohio State defensive end and consensus No. 1 overall pick Nick Bosa, Allen is considered by many to be the best pass-rusher in this year’s draft. Allen’s combination of speed, length and power puts him in a special class of player.
It’s hard to imagine the 21-year-old sliding past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 5, though. Ultimately, the Giants will likely have to wheel and deal to move up and nab Allen; however Big Blue has the draft assets to make that happen if the opportunity presents itself.