The New York Giants have kept their starting quarterback and bell-cow running back out of 2023 NFL free agency, but now comes the time to use the veteran market to fix those problem positions elsewhere on the roster, including linebacker.
There’s a lack of dynamic athleticism and true versatility at the position, problems Kaden Elliss of the New Orleans Saints would solve. Ellliss has been described as “a rising star” by Heavy’s Senior NFL Reporter Matt Lombardo, who named the Giants, along with the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, as fits for the “under-the-radar” free-agent bargain.
It’s in the Giants’ interests to beat NFC East rivals the Cowboys to the signing of Elliss. He’s tailor-made for defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale’s blitz-heavy system.
27-Year-Old A Natural Fit for Giants Defense
The proof of Elliss’ upward trajectory comes from a breakout 2022 season when the 27-year-old frequently made his presence felt behind the line of scrimmage. Elliss logged a career-best seven sacks, including this one against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17:
Kaden with the SACK 💪
Kaden Elliss is now tied with Demario Davis for the team-lead for sacks (6.5) #NOvsPHI | 📺: FOX pic.twitter.com/TJX4FznYTI
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 1, 2023
Blitzing off the edge was common for Elliss last season, a talent Martindale would maximize. Nobody blitzed as often as the Giants in 2022, and a natural rusher like Elliss, who also notched 10 QB hits and 11 pressures, per Pro Football Reference, would be right at home in this defense.
The best endorsement of Elliss’ impact as an edge-rusher comes from Jon Macri of Pro Football Focus, who noted No. 55 outperformed all other linebackers in this category:
#FFIDP – Kaden Elliss and Pete Werner both played significant snaps for the Saints this season.
Werner missed 5 games due to injury and was the only New Orleans LB to outperform his expected TKLs.
Elliss (2023 UFA) played on the edge a ton (40%) and led all LBs in Sacks vs EXP. pic.twitter.com/zzNDKuifrq
— Jon Macri (@PFF_Macri) January 31, 2023
Although Elliss played outside in the Saints’ 4-3 front, he’d have no trouble sliding inside for the Giants and their base 3-4 defense. He’d be no weak link manning the middle after making 78 …read more