2019 Season Rewind
Carter Coughlin finished a decorated career with the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2019, becoming the latest member of his family to deliver a high-quality performance. He not only delivered, but he also succeeded in improving his family's stellar contributions to the Golden Gophers athletics.
Coughlin finished his career with three All-Big 10 selections, including back-to-back second-team selections in 2018 and 2019. Coughlin played out of position as mostly a pass-rushing end but still managed to record 159 tackles, 40 tackles for a loss, and 22.5 sacks, which places him third all-time in school history.
Coughlin was the focal point of every offense he faced after racking up 35 solo tackles and 9.5 sacks his junior season. He added 29 solo tackles and 4.5 sacks during his senior campaign and was a leader on one of the best teams in the Big 10 amassing an 11-2 record. His best game of the season came at home against Penn State.
He recorded eight total tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack. The Gophers triumphed 31-26 in handing Penn State their first loss of the season and preserved their undefeated record at the time. The final game of his career was a win against Auburn in the Outback Bowl 31-24.
Coughlin's high motor and football IQ allowed him to make up for his lack of elite size. The schematics of an NFL defense, mixed with the reality of limited snaps, will actually help Coughlin do what he has come to do best: rush the passer, which ironically is something he did in playing somewhat out of position.
As a situational pass rusher for the Giants, he could use his fresh legs to bend the corner against tired offensive tackles. His hustle will allow him to run plays down from behind when others might give up on the play.
Early on, he’s probably going to need to be special on special teams if he wants to ensure himself a spot on the roster. However, if he makes the final squad, his relentlessness could get him some snaps on defense.
Players like Coughlin tend to be a coaching favorite because his effort is always at a peak level, and he is easily adaptable. The climb won't be easy, as if there is one thing the Giants have, it's an abundance of linebackers--including Coughlin, they added four linebackers in the draft, and all of them are probably competing for a couple of spots.
In the end, a player like Coughlin should find his way on the roster. The preseason will be interesting because I could see him feasting on the third- and fourth-team linemen. That's going to play well with fans and in film sessions after games.
The advantage he has over his fellow rookies is that he was more consistent on a play to play basis. The other rookies all flashed, but have instances of bust on film. If he can avoid injury and flash the form that made him such a problem at Minnesota, he could carve out a really nice niche for himself.