When the New York Giants selected Lorenzo Carter in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft there was hope that he would emerge as a threat from the edge. Carter is still full of hope and the Giants are relying on Carter to take a step forward in 2020 just as they did in 2019.
Carter is full of potential. He is a 6’5”, 250 lbs freak of nature. His athleticism is the stuff of dreams for football coaches given his size. He is still just 24 years old so there the potential is still there for him. The problem is time is running out for Carter to take that next step forward.
The NFL is unforgiving when it comes to young talent. There is very little room for development for a high draft pick like Carter was. Even though he was a third round pick there is a certain expectation that comes with players drafted in the first three rounds. Carter needs to show new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and new head coach Joe Judge that he can be an answer as an edge rusher at linebacker.
The production from Carter has been, to put it mildly, maddening. Anyone who watches Giants’ games can see the potential. It is there on almost every play. The production, however, is not. He tallied just four sacks in his rookie season, a decent enough number. But in 2019, Carter notched just 4.5 sacks despite playing in just under 300 more snaps. He also missed nine tackles in 2019 after not being credited with a single missed tackle in 2018. One could easily consider Carter’s 2019 campaign to be a step backwards from his 2018 rookie campaign.
The 2020 Giants have, up to this point, not brought back Markus Golden, their leading edge rusher from last season. They did sign Kyler Fackrell who should bring some pressure from the edge in Golden’s absence if the Giants don’t bring him back. Regardless, the Giants have certain expectations of Carter and one of them is to finally emerge as a force off of the edge this season.
In a perfect world the Giants would have Fackrell and Golden leading the pass rush with Carter and Oshane Ximines taking massive steps forward to emerge as the young duo that teams have to worry about. Carter is, barely arguably, the Giants’ most athletic player among the front seven. He has the ability and talent and athleticism to truly emerge as a force on the edge. It is up to him to take that next step forward.
The coaching staff is in place with Graham and new outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema. It is Carter that needs to translate the talent and the coaching into production in 2020. The Giants are hopeful and there is good reason for that. Hopefully, for Carter and the Giants he can take that next step forward in 2020 and emerge as the young edge rusher the Giants have coveted over the last decade.