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Rookie Report: How Giants rookies fared in 2020


The regular season is in the books. Let's see what the Giants' rookie class did in 2020. All advanced statistics are courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Andrew Thomas

After a slow start to the season, Thomas improved his play in the season's final 2 1/2 months. Thomas allowed at least four pressures in six of his first seven games. Over the final nine games, he only allowed four pressures in a game three times; 39 of the 60 pressures he allowed came in the first seven games. He allowed no pressures in three of his final six games.

Over the course of the season, Thomas allowed ten sacks, nine quarterback hits, and 41 quarterback hurries. He finished with a 94.3 pass block efficiency and a 9.8% pressure rate. In his final nine games, those numbers improve to a 96.2 pass blocking efficiency and a 6.1% pressure rate.

There was improvement from Thomas throughout the year in his technique, which limited the number of times he got beat inside.

"For me," Thomas said, "the thing that stands out the most would probably be the inside move. Obviously, in the beginning, that was something I really struggled with. With oversetting, that's something I've been working on over the last few weeks trying to get better at. I think that's made the biggest difference."

Xavier McKinney

A foot injury kept McKinney off the field until Week 12, when the Giants visited Cincinnati. He only played 26 snaps (12 on defense) the first two weeks. He played 131 snaps from Week 14 through Week 16, with all but two snaps coming on defense. He finished the year playing a career-high 80 snaps (74 on defense) against the Cowboys.

The Giants were not afraid to line him up in different areas of the field. He had 82 snaps at free safety, and 84 as the nickel. He also played 47 snaps around the line of scrimmage and inside the tackle box. His versatility allowed him to act as a man-coverage player, deep zone player, short zone player, and helper against the run.

McKinney had an interception (and another that was called back) and a pass defended in coverage. In his six games, he allowed seven reception on 10 targets for only 47 yards. He finished the year with 24 tackles and two quarterback hurries.

On special teams, McKinney played on the kick return, kick coverage and punt return units.

Matt Peart

The third-round pick did not have any starts, but he played 169 snaps over 11 games, but missed some time due to being put on the COVID-19 list and a late-season ankle injury.

Peart played 104 of his snaps on the offensive line, mostly rotating in for Cam Fleming at right tackle. He also played 39 snaps at left tackle and 10 as an eligible receiver as a jumbo tight end. As a special teams player, he was used 16 times on field goal and extra-point snaps.

In Peart's 84 pass protection snaps, he allowed two sacks, two quarterback hits, and five hurries. He had a pass block efficiency rate of 93.5 and allowed a pass rush percentage of 10.7%. A full NFL off-season in which he can continue to get stronger and hone his technique could put him in position to complete for a full-time role in 2021.

View some of the best photos of the Giants' rookies throughout the 2020 season as the team enters the offseason.

Darnay Holmes

Holmes played in 12 games and missed Week 7 due to a neck injury, Weeks 14-15 due to a knee injury, and Week 16 due to a coach's decision; 396 of his 459 snaps came as a nickel. He also played 17 snaps on the outside, 33 in the box, and three at safety.

Holmes had an interception and five passes defended. He allowed 43 receptions on 57 targets for 428 yards without a touchdown. He showed himself as an aggressive blitzer with a half-sack, two quarterback hits, and two quarterback hurries. He had 30 tackles on the season.

Shane Lemieux

Lemieux stepped in as the starting left guard in Week 8 after Will Hernandez was placed on the COVID-19 list. He started nine straight games to close the season, occasionally sharing some time with Hernandez. Lemieux played 13 of his 547 snaps at right guard and four as a fullback. All but 20 of his offensive snaps were at left guard. He also played 28 snaps on field goal and extra-point teams.

In 299 pass blocking snaps, Lemieux allowed five sacks, eight quarterback hits, and 15 quarterback hurries. He had a 94.5 pass block efficiency and a 9.4% pressure percentage. It would be surprising if Lemieux was not given the opportunity to compete for another significant role next year.

Cam Brown

Brown, a sixth-round draft pick, played in every game except for the season opener. He was a core special teams player - 320 of his 413 snaps were split between kick return, kick overage, punt return, punt coverage, and field goal block.

His 93 defensive snaps were spent primarily as a stand-up edge player; 56 snaps as the left outside linebacker and 33 snaps on the right. He also played two snaps in the slot and another two at inside linebacker.

Brown was used as a pass rusher on 70 of his 93 defensive snaps, primarily in obvious passing situations. He didn't have a sack, but finished with three quarterback hits and four quarterback hurries. He had a tackle for no gain and two others on 18 snaps as a run defender. He was used in coverage on six snaps.

There's every reason to think that Brown's length and athleticism will keep him as a staple on special teams. If he can develop his technique as a defender, he might be able to build on the 38 defensive snaps he played on the edge over the season's final two weeks.

Carter Coughlin

Coughlin began the season primarily as a special teams player, but worked his way into a larger role. Of his 194 defensive snaps, 110 came in Week 13 against Seattle and Week 14 against Arizona. He finished the season playing 51 defensive snaps over the final three weeks of the season.

All but 31 of Coughlin's defensive snaps came as an edge rusher, with 93 on the right side of the defense and 70 on the left. In 98 pass rushing snaps, he finished with one sack, two quarterback hits and 12 total pressures. He also lined up as a stand-up inside linebacker and "joker" pass rusher 26 times.

Coughlin was dropped into coverage 41 times and allowed six catches for 63 yards. He played against the run on 54 snaps, and finished with 14 tackles and two tackles for loss.

Coughlin was a staple on kick return and kick coverage, playing 64 snaps in coverage and 59 on the return team. He also played 17 snaps on punt return and seven on the field goal block team.

At 6'4 and 245 pounds, Coughlin has the athleticism to fill a multifaceted role as a pass rusher, run stopper, and coverage player. If he can become a little stronger to secure the edge on an every-down basis he may be able to secure more playing time.

Tae Crowder

Tae Crowder began the season primarily as a special teams player in Weeks 2-3 before taking on a larger role as an inside linebacker against the Rams in Week 4. His role continued to grow until he was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury that kept him out during Weeks 7-11.

Crowder played more than 50 snaps on defense and special teams from Weeks 13-17. As his role on defense increased, he saw a dip on special teams, playing only 19 snaps on kick return over the final four weeks of the season.

Crowder finished the season with the 12th-most defensive snaps on the team, the sixth-most tackles with 56, three tackles for loss and one pass defended. He allowed 24 catches for 283 yards in coverage. He had one sack, three quarterback hits, and five total pressures as a pass rusher. He also had a critical scoop and score fumble recovery for a touchdown against Washington in Week 6.

Over the course of the season, Crowder established himself as the team's starting inside linebacker next to Blake Martinez. At 235 pounds he has shown he has the ability to run sideline to sideline and this experience should serve him well.

Austin Mack

Mack got his first action of the season in Week 6 and was active in every game since, playing 197 offensive snaps. His physicality and blocking ability gave the Giants the flexibility to line him up in different spots. He lined up mostly outside (120 snaps) and had 47 snaps in the slot, 17 in the backfield, and 13 off the end of the line. Mack played 19 special teams snaps, mostly on kick return, over the final five weeks of the season.

Mack finished the season catching seven of his 13 targets for 91 yards, including 38 yards after the catch. Five of his catches went for first downs. He does not have burner speed but his length and strength give him potential as a possession receiver.

Madre Harper

An undrafted free agent who signed with the Raiders after the 2020 NFL Draft, Harper was joined the Giants off of the Las Vegas practice squad at the end of September. The cornerback played in nine games, logging most of his time as a special teams player with some work on defense.

He has become a core special teams player, with 26 snaps on the kick return team, 43 in kick coverage, 27 on punt return, and 18 in punt coverage. He lined up in different areas of the defense, with 10 snaps in the box, 15 in the slot, and 12 on the outside.

Harper missed the final four games of the season on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Niko Lalos

An undrafted free agent from Dartmouth, Lalos was brought onto the active roster after the bye week and earned a role on special teams and defense. He played 71 special teams snaps over the final six games, with most of his snaps coming on kick return, kick coverage and field goal block.

Lalos also played 72 snaps on the defensive line, playing on both edges and finishing with five tackles, one pass defended, an interception and a fumble recovery.


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