The Giants are now a week into training camp. Coming into camp, there were a couple of position battles that many were focused on. One position group that wasn’t at the forefront of everyone’s minds was edge rusher. This was likely because Azeez Ojulari and the 5th overall pick in April’s draft, Kayvon Thibodeaux, are entrenched as the starters. That hasn’t changed through the first week of training camp. Behind them is where guys are making plays, and making a push to make themselves a featured part of the Giants 2022 pass rush.
As I said, Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux are going to be the starters for this Giants defense. It has been good to hear that Thibodeaux has been getting to the QB through the first week of practices. Ojulari opened up camp on the Non-Football Injury List, so he has not played yet. Taking his place with the first team has been first year Giant, Jihad Ward. Ward has played well so far, and has also been one of the Giants emotional leaders according to reports at out of camp. This would lead one to believe that Ward would likely be the next edge rusher in line once Ojulari comes back, but that might not necessarily be true. That is because all the Giants edge rushers have been making plays in camp. Quincy Roche, who held his own last season, has made his presence known. Oshane Ximines, a former 3rd round pick who many had written off, has reportedly looked awesome in camp. Last but not least, the Giants 4th round pick last year, Elerson Smith, who many have called a sleeper on the Giants, has also been playing well.
Anyone who knows the history of the Giants knows that you can never have enough pass-rushers, but it’s unlikely the Giants can keep all of these players.
Edge rusher wasn’t on the list of camp battles in terms of starting positions, but the depth was certainly a question mark. That’s why it is good to hear that all these guys are putting their best foot forward in camp. Hopefully a group of these guys can be the Giants next, “Nascar Package.” The question is which group of them will get the opportunity to do that.
The depth at the edge position will certainly be something to watch as training camp rolls on and preseason games begin. Hopefully this position group continues to make it tough on the coaching staff to let any of them go.