Coming into training camp, a position of concern, as far as depth goes, was inside linebacker. One man has made every Giant fan feel a whole lot better about that depth: Carter Coughlin. Through the first two preseason games, he has been far and away the most impressive Giant. A seventh round draft pick out of Minnesota last year, is showing just how versatile he can be. This defense already has a number of weapons, especially in the secondary. They have uncovered yet another one in their line backing core.
Carter Coughlin was an edge rusher in college, and a damn good one at that. He racked up 40 sacks at Minnesota, including a 15 sack year in 2018. Last season, the Giants had a number of injuries at edge, and Coughlin came in and played well. Although he only had one sack, he finished with 11 pressures and popped off the screen, especially in the Giants upset victory over the Seahawks. Scouting reports on Coughlin coming out of college suggested that he may have to move inside and well, he has shown that he can be a very solid inside linebacker for the Giants, but it doesn’t end there.
The Giants have been looking for a solid middle linebacker for years, and they found one last year in Blake Martinez. Tae Crowder filled in nicely next to him for last year’s Giants, and is expected to do the same this year. If the preseason means anything, it has shown that Coughlin can be a solid backup at both inside linebacker and as a situational pass rusher. Through two preseason games, Coughlin has 9 tackles and 2 sacks. Reggie Ragland has also looked good as more of a classic inside linebacker. This depth gives Patrick Graham the flexibility to use Coughlin as both an inside linebacker, and as a pass rusher. Number 49 has the potential to flash all over our televisions in 2021.
The defense was the reason the Giants were able to compete in 2020. More pieces have been added to that defense, and another one may have just been revealed. Carter Coughlin has made plays all over the field through the first two preseason games. He offers versatility as both a pass rusher, and a classic inside linebacker. He adds depth, and can only help this defense. Don’t say preseason games don’t matter, because they may have helped the Giants find another weapon for this defense.
(Photo: AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)