The Giant Insider|September 19, 2021
The X factor, Kadarius Toney is falling behind and The big tight end is back
Chris Bisignano

The X factor

The outside linebacker commonly known as the “X Man” around the Giants’ facility could possibly be the most important figure in getting the defense where it needs to be.

So, you ask…why?

The 2019 third-round draft pick out of Old Dominion flashed his rookie year with 4.5 sacks. The raw potential he exhibited had the organization feeling sky-high on his potential, and the feeling around the building was that they had their double-digit sack master for years to come.

But 2020 was a different story. Oshane Ximines played in just four games before going on injured reserve with a shoulder issue, which required season-ending surgery to repair his rotator cuff.

He started training camp on the PUP list, but eventually came off that list to make his preseason debut against the Cleveland Browns.

“It was good to see ‘X’ back out there with us,” Joe Judge said. “Just get him back out there playing ball. Obviously, he missed a lot last year being injured. Started camp late. I’m happy with the way he came out, did some nice things against the Browns.”

The Giants need as many pass rushers as they can get. Last year Leonard Williams led the team with 11.5 sacks, but it’s a stretch to think he can repeat that many drops. Second-round draft pick Azeez Ojulari has shown flashes this camp, but he’s just a rookie learning on the fly. It’s not fair to assume he will have a lot of sacks.

Enter Ximines. He is the wild card who can alleviate the pressure which players like Williams, Dexter Lawrence, and Lorenzo Carter will all be feeling regarding getting to the quarterback.

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Leonard Williams, Giants 6-5 • 255 pounds • 28 years old An athletic 300-pounder with quick feet, Williams amassed a career-high 11.5 sacks last season. Add that to him being a stout run defender, very durable and possessing great character, and he should be in high demand. He won NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice last year. $$$$$

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