The Giants' pass rush has long been one of the franchise's trademarks. From Lawrence Taylor to Michael Strahan to Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, the Giants' defense does its best work when it's rushing the passer.
It's no coincidence that the Giants' defense has declined recently as the pass rush disappeared.
The Giants have been a bottom-five team in sacks in three of the last four years. The one time they were better, they made the playoffs.
Still, Dave Gettleman didn't do much to address his edge rushers this offseason. While he addressed other areas that needed it, Gettleman is relying on a lot of unproven players to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Markus Golden, who played for Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher in Arizona, is an interesting candidate to lead the pass rush. He had 12.5 sacks in 2016 for the Cardinals, but has just 2.5 since as he has struggled with knee injuries. Golden has the highest ceiling of any of the Giants' edge rushers, and as long as he's healthy, he's got a chance to make some noise.
"I'm hunting," Golden said, via the New York Daily News. "I feel good. I feel like myself again."
Golden is also playing for his NFL career. At 28 years old and seeing his production decline due to injury, he'll need a big year to remain an NFL starter. He'll have no shortage of motivation this year.
Who will start opposite Golden is still a mystery.
Lorenzo Carter has his teammates' endorsements; Kareem Martin, who also played for Bettcher in Arizona, didn't stand out much last season and third-round pick Oshane Ximines has good collegiate numbers, but likely won't start as a rookie.
It's a wide-open field, and Carter is looking forward to staking his claim for the starting spot.
"Up front, we need an Alpha," Carter said, via Forbes. "I'm just looking forward to trying to do that."
Carter only played 40 percent of the team's snaps last year, but had four sacks. He showed flashes as a rookie, and his coach is looking forward to seeing what he can do in a potential starter's role.
"He is rushing with a plan," Bettcher said, per NJ.com. "When you see him rush, a year ago he was trying to get off the ball as quick as he could and use his hands when he could. He is building his pass-rush toolbox right now."
Martin and Ximines give Bettcher more options, but again, there's no real proven edge rusher that warrants a double team from opposing offensive lines. At least not yet.
"I believe we can [have an improved pass rush]," Bettcher said. "That will reveal itself when we get to training camp."
The Giants have filled a lot of needs this offseason-they have a quarterback succession plan, they rebuilt their offensive line and the secondary is promising. If the young pass rushers can develop like Bettcher thinks they can, the Giants may just have a few reasons to be excited moving forward.