Lorenzo Carter
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

The New York Giants will be expecting big things from their second-year edge rusher Lorenzo Carter in this upcoming season. 

One of the more underrated and overlooked players on the New York Giants defense in 2018 was Lorenzo Carter.

Big Blue took him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Georgia. In his rookie year, Carter only started in two games, spending a lot of time behind edge rushers Olivier Vernon and Kareem Martin. However, he totaled 43 combined tackles and four sacks.

Now, Carter will be looking to emerge as one of the top pass rushers for the Giants this season. Big Blue, on the other hand, expect a lot from their young linebacker.

“He is rushing with a plan,” defensive coordinator James Bettcher said, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “A year ago he was trying to get off the ball as quick as he could and use his hands when he could. Now, you see a guy that is aware of how he wants to rush, aware of techniques that he wants to rush with. Guys that get in there as pass rushers, you see their best growth in the two and three years. You start to figure out what they are as rushers. He is really starting to figure that out. He is building his pass-rush toolbox right now.”

Many Giants fans believed they should’ve drafted an edge rusher with the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft instead of Daniel Jones. The Giants were tied for second-to-last in the NFL in 2018 in total sacks, with only 30 on the year.

Carter understands that fans wanted a dominant pass rusher, but he’s not perceiving it in that sense. For the most part, Carter is focusing on what he can do for the team.

“They didn’t get a pass rusher but I didn’t look at it like that,” Carter said. “I’m looking at me going into Year 2, what steps I need to make to be better. I guess they showed faith but I want to go out there and prove it to myself and prove it to everybody else.

“That was my whole thing, coming into year two, I don’t want any potential, ‘He has the potential,’ or, ‘Oh, he can do this.’ I’m doing it. I want to be the guy that’s doing it.”

Carter will compete with guys such as Martin, Markus Golden, and Oshane Ximines when it comes to the edge rusher position. The 30 total sacks from last season need to be an improvement in 2018, and there’s no doubt about it.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.