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Giants Edge Rusher Azeez Ojulari Earns Recognition for Strong NFL Start

The Giants' second-round draft pick was named a runner-up on The Athletic's Dane Brugler's NFL All-Rookie Team at the quarter mark.

Giants rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari’s NFL career is off to a solid start so far. The team’s second-round pick out of Georgia currently leads all NFL rookie defenders with three sacks through three games—not bad, considering he’s not a starter (at least not yet).

Ojulari’s play, which also includes11 total tackles, and a forced fumble/strip-sack, landed him a spot on The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s NFL All-Rookie Team at the quarter mark as the runner-up at the edge rusher position behind Baltimore’s Odafe Oweh.

While he might not be a starter, Ojulari plays starter snaps and currently leads all NFL rookies with three sacks through four games. He became the first player in franchise history to record a sack in each of his first three games. The top-rated pass rusher on my board, Ojulari, fell further than expected on draft weekend due to the medicals, but he will end up being a steal for New York.

The scary thing about Ojulari’s play is that he has much more room for improvement, something he acknowledges.

“Everyone in this league is good and athletic. The tackles are bigger, stronger, faster. Everyone is athletic in this league and they can adjust to different things,” he said. “You basically, really (have) to bring your A-game every single time. Every rep you get, every rush you get, you’ve got to bring your best out there.”


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Ojulari has been so good that opposing offenses, who historically like to target rookies any time on the field, have found no fruit when either running or passing in Ojulari's direction. According to data from Sports Radar, Ojulari, regardless of the down, has yet to yield a first-down conversion when plays have come at him.

I'm just doing whatever they want me to do. Playing my heart (out), playing my best, playing my heart out (out) there,” Ojulari said last week. “Just whatever comes to me, make the plays that come my way. I’m just trying to do what I’ve got to do and do my part.”

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