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Giants impressed with Lorenzo Carter's pass-rush talents


The Giants are happy that linebacker Lorenzo Carter didn't get drafted earlier:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –The Giants were so impressed with Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter they tried to trade up to improve their chances of drafting him. Turns out, they didn't have to.

Stymied in their efforts to swing a deal, the Giants were able to select Carter without giving up anything when he was still on their board when it was time to make the second pick of the third round of the NFL Draft, No. 66 overall. They wasted no time in securing the multi-talented 6-5, 250-pound outside backer.

"We made an attempt to trade up, but we couldn't get anything," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "Sometimes, patience is a virtue."

Earlier in the evening, Gettleman said he wasn't looking to trade because he didn't want to surrender one of the Giants' six draft choices. But things change. And Carter's ability to harass opposing quarterbacks made him a target worth pursuing.

"He's an outside edge pass rusher," Gettleman said. "We need pass rushers, every team needs pass rushers – c'mon."

Carter had 14.0 career sacks and 54 pressures in four seasons with the Bulldogs.

"I feel like I'm an elite pass rusher," Carter said. "But I have got to go out there and show it.

"I feel like I can fit into a lot of systems, especially being at Georgia, doing the things I did. I did some of everything. It wasn't comfortable at first, it wasn't what I really wanted to do, I wanted to pass rush. But being in that system, getting a chance to put my foot in the water, do a little bit of everything everywhere, I'm comfortable everywhere now. So, I'm comfortable in any defense. I'm just looking forward to getting there and getting a playbook."

Carter played in 54 games with 26 starts at Georgia. He had 165 career tackles (82 solo), including 20.5 tackles for losses. He also forced seven fumbles and recovered six.

"Lorenzo can really run, he's got length," coach Pat Shurmur said. "He's a pass rusher, but he did a great job of setting the edge (against the run). He played his best football in his biggest games, and that's really what showed up. And he's a special teams player, so he'll have an immediate impact there. But just a big, long guy that's going to be an edge – you want a couple or three pressure-type players from the edge and he'll compete for that spot for us."

Carter was the first of two defensive players selected by the Giants on Friday night. With the 69th overall pick, they took North Carolina State tackle B.J. Hill. They join the offensive players chosen in the first two rounds, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and UTEP guard Will Hernandez.

Given his length and speed, perhaps Carter could have finished his collegiate career with more than 14.0 sacks.

"He was involved on a team that got a lot of pressure," Shurmur said. "Although he didn't get sacks, there was a time where he did get pressure. There are some really dynamic rushes that he put on the quarterback where he was able to step up, move around and do something. He has got it in him. I think what you see on tape most of the time, you can tell he can set the edge and turn the run back in. We were joking that it looked to me like they were going to pull his scholarship if he didn't set the edge. He set the edge pretty well. You can see the pass rush ability in a handful of rushes that were pretty dynamic."

"Who doesn't want to draft a kid that has 58,000 sacks?" Gettleman said. "What you have to appreciate is his unseen production. If he is flying off the edge, he is creating pressure. Sometimes you are looking at guys that create plays for others. You have to look at that. That is part of it. At the end of the day, he does not have ginormous sack numbers, not a lot of these guys do. A lot of these kids don't have pass rush plans or pass rush variety. Our job is to teach them that. Lorenzo has great speed off the edge. He is explosive. We really believe he is going to help be part of that pressure."

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