James Bettcher: Markus Golden was a top pass rusher before injury
There were plenty of people who thought that the Giants were going to take edge rusher Josh Allen with the sixth pick of the draft last month, but they wound up taking quarterback Daniel Jones instead.
Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher admitted on Wednesday that he would have opted for Allen or Ed Oliver with that pick, but noted that defensive coordinators will always opt for defense and added that a coach “can’t talk about team and not be about team.” Bettcher also sounded optimistic about what another offseason addition can do for the pass rush.
Markus Golden had 12.5 sacks as part of Bettcher’s defense in Arizona in 2016, but tore his ACL in 2017 and returned with 2.5 sacks in 11 appearances last year. Bettcher said he feels Golden is back on track heading into this season.
“Don’t ever forget that before [the injury] he was one of the best pass rushers in this league,” Bettcher said. “People had to plan for him. I know that because I was one of the guys calling the plays for him on defense. I saw what he was able to do when he was healthy and running around. I love how he is moving right now, and I love his work.”
Lorenzo Carter, Kareem Martin and third-round pick Oshane Ximines are other options off the edge and the overall makeup of the group suggests that a big rebound from Golden would be a very welcome development this year.