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Four Players The New York Giants Need To See Step Up In 2016

Owa Odighizuwa

While the first and second round picks from 2015 had large roles on the team last season, the Giants’ third round pick did not. Defensive end Owa Odighizuwa had a rookie season to forget—as he only played in four games and recorded three tackles. Hindered by an early-season foot injury and then a hamstring injury that eventually ended his season, the majority of his time was spent on the sidelines recovering instead of on the field practicing. The missed practice time has impeded his development, and his lack of game experience may limit the coaching staff’s confidence Odighizuwa moving forward.

Now, the second-year defensive end is looking to make an impact. Coming out of college, he was touted for his speed and prowess against the run. He flew all around the field at UCLA and made numerous plays in the backfield. However, he had a lengthy injury history that caused his stock to fall. Those issues followed him to his first season in the pros.

“I definitely on plan on talking to Tuck, kind of get tips from him and see what made him successful inside [as a pass rusher]… I’ll have that opportunity.” – Odighizuwa said, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

He is slated to move all around the defense—rushing from the edge, dropping back into coverage, and moving inside. With the signing of Olivier Vernon and the resigning of Jason Pierre-Paul, Odighizuwa is next in line on the depth chart. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo loves to move pass rushers all around the defense, and his scheme works best with as many pass rushing bodies on the field at once.

Last season, Odighizuwa was not able to make an impact on a defense that desperately needed another defensive end. But this year, all the tools are there for Owa to be that guy for this Giants defense—he just needs to stay on the field and perform.