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PFF grades Giants' Okwara as top rookie through preseason


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If you don't know who Romeo Okwara is, you haven't been watching the New York Giants this preseason.


The undrafted rookie free agent has been a dominant force through Week 2 of the preseason. According to Pro Football Focus, he has been the best rookie edge defender in the NFL thus far.

Despite going undrafted, listed at 6-5 and 275 pounds, Okwara has the athletic build to make an impact in multiple spots along the Giants the Giants' defensive front. With Jay Bromley on the PUP list for most of training camp, Okwara mixed in at defensive tackle in addition to defensive end.


Since then, Okwara has transitioned to a larger role at defensive end while Kerry Wynn has been sidelined with an injury.


Through the preseason thus far, Okwara has made an impact as an edge defender in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's scheme. In addition to earning a very strong grade against the run, Okwara has racked up multiple pressures and quarterback hits.


Okwara has the length to set the edge in the run game, and his ability to disrupt the passer has translated over from the college level. In 2015, Okwara led Notre Dame with 8 sacks.


Although Okwara was an undrafted signing, the Giants made him a priority signing after having a draftable grade on him. If he continues to play at this level, Okwara will earn a major role in the Giants' defensive line rotation as soon as Week 1 of the regular season.


Top graded rookies through two weeks of the preseason DT/NT: Darius Latham, OAK 4-3 OLB: Jeremy Cash, CAR Edge Def: Romeo Okwara, NYG

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What's alarming is the amount of injuries. Goddammit. Don't these fuckers have hired help to condition themselves?


I'd love to see some research and statistics since the new CBA....these guys practice a fraction of the amount they used to in the summer...contact and full pads even less. If anything, it seems the amount of nagging injuries and even the season enders occurring in the summer has increased. It seems to take some of the lesser teams (like the Giants these past several years) 4 weeks into the regular season to actually look like a professional football team.

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The Giants may have found a late-round gem in Romeo Okwara

Another week of the NFL preseason has come and gone, and New York Giants undrafted rookie free agent defensive end Romeo Okwara is still on top.


Okwara has earned Pro Football Focus' top preseason grade among 4-3 defensive ends since Week 2 of the preseason. He added two more quarterback hits, two hurries, and a sack vs. the Jets in Week 3, per PFF.


Okwara is shaping up as a major steal by the Giants after scooping him up as a priority undrafted free agent signing. Okwara, who led Notre Dame with 8 sacks in 2015, has ideal size at 6-5 and 265 pounds.


The rookie is quickly pushing his way up the Giants' depth chart at defensive end. He still has to prove that he can produce when he's matched up only against first-team offensive tackles and guards, but it looks like he might get that opportunity much sooner than expected.


Okwara is a near lock to make the final 53-man roster. These final few practices and last preseason game before Week 1 of the regular season could determine if he's also ready to open the year as the No. 4 or even No. 3 defensive end in the rotation.


Top graded rookies this preseason (by position) 4-3 DE:

Romeo Okwara, NYG

4-3 OLB: Jeremy Cash, CAR

DT/NT: Darius Latham, OAK

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