Time stands still for no man. And for the most part, neither does a football team.
Simply put, if you're not progressing and available to your team, there's a pretty good chance that the management and coaches will look elsewhere. And that message appears to apply to third-year edge rusher Oshane Ximines.
Ximines, you may recall, was a third-round draft pick by the Giants, who used the extra pick they received in the Odell Beckham Jr trade on the Old Dominion alumnus. Although a very raw prospect, especially in run defense, there were flashes of a quick first-step that reminded one of a young Osi Umenyiora to intrigue.
As a rookie, Ximines finished with 25 total pressures. When the Giants hanged coaching staff, the plan was thought to be one in which he'd have more wide-9 opportunities in which he'd go against a tight end rather than an offensive tackle that outweighed the 252-pounder by 50+ pounds, thereby eliminating those instances in which the bigger opponent would swallow up Ximines.
Whatever the entire plan was, it had to be scrapped when Ximines suffered what turned out to be a season-ending, Week 4 shoulder surgery that required surgery.
With the shoulder apparently rehabbed, one of the biggest questions is how much of his strength was lost due to the whole injury ordeal. And we might have to wait to find out, considering Ximines is starting training camp on the active/PUP list with a hamstring strain.
Six New York Giants Storylines to Watch in Regular Season Week 3
The Giants begin Week 3 of their 2021 regular season looking to get into the win column against the Atlanta Falcons. Here's a look at some of the emerging storylines for the week.
NFC East Division Week 2 Wrap: Washington Holds on to First Place
Recapping the activity in the NFC East following the Week 2 games.
New York Giants Opponent Watch: Eagles Lose OL Brandon Books, DE Brandon Graham to Injuries
The Giants won't see the Eagles for the first time this year until November 28. But it sure sounds like they won't be seeing defensive end Brandon Graham if tests confirm that he suffered a torn Achilles.
What He Brings
Despite his 4.5 sacks as a rookie, Ximines was a liability against the run. Though he improved a bit with his contain in his brief sophomore season, Ximines still needs lots of work to fit into this defense’s multi-faceted outside linebacker role in terms of coverage, contain, and the pass rush.
Ximines, who played in an even front in college, has been a solid option as a nickel rush option. Having him line up as a 5-tech or, better yet, a 7-tech would probably allow him to use that first quick step and burst off the snap to create some havoc in the offensive backfield as his size doesn't bode well in terms of a matchup against bigger and heavier offensive tackles.
Ximines is set to enter Year 3 of his four-year rookie contract, which has a cap value of $1,089,195. If he doesn't make the 53-man roster, the Giants would save $880,000 on the cap and take dead money hits of $209,195 this year and next year.
Despite having some intriguing tools with which to work, Ximines might not be a lock for the 53-man roster. New York went heavy on adding pass rushers to the mix, including Elerson Smith and Azeez Ojulari in the draft and Ifeadi Odenigbo and Ryan Anderson in free agency. They also have Lorenzo Carter returning to presumably resume the strongside linebacker spot.
Where does that leave Ximines? For starters, this news about him starting camp on PUP isn't good--the longer he remains inactive, the further he's going to fall behind. That's not good news for a guy who, before his injury, was still trying to find his way as a run defender capable of setting the edge and as a pass rusher trying to develop a plan.
That said, Ximines has talent, and a decent toolbox with which to work, which is why it wouldn't be a shocking development if he gets moved to the practice squad--assuming his hamstring injury doesn't linger.
Find all our training camp player previews in one spot. New profiles are added daily until we get to the end of the roster.