Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines provide hope for Giants’ pass rush

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The New York Giants have been loading up at linebacker the past few offseasons under general manager Dave Gettleman to the point where it could become overkill.

The last few seasons they put their chips on Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines to step up and lead them on the outside, only to be bitten by the injury bug last year.

Last year, Gettleman drafted Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown to compete for roster spots and both have shown promise, although Coiughlin has been moved inside. This offseason, the team brought in free agents Ifeadi Odenigbo and Ryan Anderson, and drafted Azeez Ojulari in the second round.

It’s a crowded room now. Carter is coming off a season lost to an Achilles injury and Ximines missed the final three months with a shoulder injury. Combined with all the new faces, the Giants have a whale of a complexion brewing at outside linebacker.

But the cream rises when the conditions are right. Both Carter and Ximines are healthy now. Just ask the Cleveland Browns, who had a difficult time containing both players during the Giants’ joint practice with them on Thursday.

The two former third-round picks showed their pass rushing ability against the Browns’ top two tackles — Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jack Conklin — beating both of them for what would have been sacks had the drills been full contact.

The Giants have a pleasant problem at linebacker now. Both players were poised for breakout years in 2020 only to be cut down by injuries. Now, they will be challenged by a talented bunch of backups and the rookie Ojulari.

The pass rush the Giants have been so desperately seeking may finally have arrived.