With Dave Tollefson gone, the New York Giants have been looking for a new fourth defensive end to contribute as a reserve pass-rushing presence. Yes, they're in good shape with Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, but there's no guarantee that trio stays healthy all season, so this matters.
In Wednesday night's preseason finale, undrafted rookie Adewale Ojomo might have won that job, securing a position on Big Blue's 53-man roster.
Ojomo had a strip sack against the Patriots, giving him four sacks, 10 tackles and a forced fumble in four preseason games. The game didn't matter in the win column, but it did matter that the strip sack of Brian Hoyer was a game-changing play. That's what pass-rushers are paid to do.
The Miami (Fla.) product has been bringing tons of pressure beyond those sacks, and he's looked stout as a run defender, too.
With Tollefson gone and 2010 sixth-round pick Adrian Tracy injured, that might be enough for Ojomo to survive Friday's 22-man football execution.
"I don’t think I’m a fluke," he said after the game, via Mike Garafolo of The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger. "I think I can go out each and every week and do what I need to do."
A Few More Thoughts from the Giants' Final Preseason Game
Ramses Barden Is Locked In
Barden had four catches, 31 yards and no drops. He had two separate preseasons—one in which he really struggled and one in which he shined. Has he turned it around this quickly, or did he simply turn it on out of desperation?
Whatever it is, Barden's been one of the team's best offensive players the last two weeks. I still think rookie Rueben Randle plays a bigger role this year, but Barden has saved his job with these last two performances.
The Giants aren't ready to give up on him just yet.
It Might Be Too Little Too Late for Andre Brown
Brown entered camp as an underdog but looked solid in the preseason, with his key performance coming Wednesday night. The 25-year-old back, who's already been cut seven times in his career, made one last pitch for a roster spot with 77 yards on 16 touches.
Two problems: First, Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson are guaranteed roster spots, while Da'Rel Scott and D.J. Ware might still be ahead of him after decent preseason performances, as well. And second, Brown fumbled in the fourth quarter. You just can't do that in Tom Coughlin country.
I fear Brown will be released yet again.
Ditto for Greg Jones
The second-year linebacker entered the finale squarely on the bubble, but he made a strong push with a nice sack against New England. Unfortunately, Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich had great final performances, too, combining for 10 tackles on the night.
With Paysinger, Herzlich and Jacquian Williams likely to make the final roster, Jones might be on the outside looking in.