The New York Giants are looking everywhere for defensive line help this offseason.
Even the Army.
Big Blue scouts were on hand at West Point to watch Army edge rusher Andre Carter II’s Pro Day workout on March 17, according to Pro Football Network’s draft insider Tony Pauline.
Giants defensive assistant Ben Burress even put Carter II through position drills.
It’s easy to see why scouts like Burress are interested. Carter II notched 19.5 career sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions in three seasons as a Golden Knight.
At 6-foot-7, he’s one of the tallest 2023 NFL draft prospects, too. Only Ohio State tackle Daward Jones (6-foot-8) and BYU tackle Blake Freeland (6-foot-8) stand taller in DraftTek.com’s prospect database.
Here’s what else you need to know about Carter II and the Giants’ interest:
Before Carter II could even hold a pro day, government intervention was needed.
Military academy graduates have historically needed to serve for two years after graduation before playing in the NFL. But the $1.7 trillion federal omnibus appropriations bill included revised provisions to allow military athletes the opportunity to petition their branch for deferred service.
That means scouts can now look at Carter II like any other 2023 prospect. And there’s a lot to like, according to NFL.com’s draft analyst Lance Zierlein.
“(Carter II’s) explosive get-off and natural bend/agility at the top of the rush are enough to create early opportunities for himself as a quarterback hunter,” said Zierlein in his scouting report. “(He) might need a longer runway to meet his potential, but if does his pass-rush homework, he could take a substantial leap forward as an odd or even front edge rusher by Year 3.”
In short: Carter II needs time to grow. Most top prospects can train for a pro day or NFL Combine. Scouts know Carter II, who ran a 4.86 40-yard dash, trains differently at West Point to defend the country.
“Though Carter’s testing times are nowhere near elite, scouts in the league tell me they give prospects from the three military academies a pass,” Pauline said.
The Giants are one team that could offer Carter II a soft landing spot. After developing a small-school pass rusher like Old Dominion product Oshane Ximines, they’re no strangers to showcasing the kind of patience Carter II will require.
New York can find a scary running mate for Kayvon Thibodeaux and Ozeez Ojulari if they just play the long game.
In Other Giants News…
Big Blue’s plans at linebacker might not end with recent free-agent signee Bobby Okereke.
Clemson linebacking prospect Trenton Simpson told reporters he’s spoken at length with the Giants. The Titans are another team in contact with Simpson, according to Clemson Sports’ Luke Winstel.
According to NFL Network reporter Cameron Wolfe, New York sent a “deep group” of coaches to Clemson’s pro day last week, including defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, defensive line coach Andre Patterson, defensive back coach Jerome Henderson, and inside linebackers coach John Egorugwu.
They must’ve liked what they saw from Simpson’s workouts — and from game tape like this: