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NFL Draft: Giants take defenders Lorenzo Carter, B.J. Hill in third round

Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter pressures Tennessee quarterback Quinten

Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter pressures Tennessee quarterback Quinten Dormady on Sept. 30, 2017, in Knoxville, Tenn. Credit: AP / Wade Payne

After using their first two picks to bolster the offense, the Giants used their two third-round picks to help the defense. They added Lorenzo Carter, a 6-5, 250-pound speedster on the edge, to provide a pass rush, and B.J. Hill, a 311-pound run-stuffer up the middle.

“There was definitely excitement in the room,” coach Pat Shurmur said of the selections. “[The defensive coaches] were excited that they were available for us to pick. We addressed a couple of issues.”

The Giants were so fond of Carter that they tried to trade up for him, but they didn’t have enough pieces to get there. “Thank God we didn’t have to,” general manager Dave Gettleman said after taking him with the 66th overall selection.

Carter did not have ideal stats to match his skill set with only 14 sacks in four years at Georgia, but Gettleman said there was “unseen production” on tape.

“Listen, who doesn’t want to draft a kid who has 58,000 sacks, right?” Gettleman said. “What you have to appreciate is that there is unseen production. If he’s flying his fanny off the edge and he’s creating pressure, sometimes you look at a guy who is creating plays for others. You have to look at that.”

“There were some really dynamic rushes that he put on a quarterback,” Shurmur said. “He’s got it in him.”

Shurmur’s whole family knows that. Shortly after the Giants selected Carter, Shurmur got a text from his son Kyle, who is a quarterback for Vanderbilt.

“Lorenzo and I go way back,” Kyle wrote to his father under a photo of him being engulfed by the Georgia linebacker for a sack.

It turned out that Hill also had a sack of Kyle Shurmur, with photographic evidence that popped up quickly after he was selected with the 69th overall selection.

“He’s been hit by a lot of these guys,” Pat Shurmur said of Kyle with a sigh.

That wasn’t a good thing last year. Now it’s ideal.

Carter said he believes his numbers will improve in the NFL.

“I feel like I’m an elite pass rusher, but I’ve got to go out there and show it,” he said. “Looking forward to doing that.”

Hill gives the Giants what they called the positional counterpart of second-round guard Will Hernandez.

“Kind of a gritty, tough guy on the other side of the line,” Shurmur said.

Said Gettleman: “That game inside between those hog mollies, that is a violent, violent workplace. If those guys aren’t tough, you have no chance. No chance. B.J. is a tough kid just like Will Hernandez is a tough kid. Lack of toughness inside, it’s going to catch up to you at some point in your season.”

Gettleman entered his first draft as general manager of the Giants professing three tenets of winning football: The need to run the ball, defend the run and rush the passer. With his first four picks, Gettleman addressed those.

Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez, we talk about running the ball, and I think we got better at that,” Gettleman said. “With Lorenzo and B.J. Hill, we talk about defending the run and rushing the passer, and we got better at that. I’m very pleased.”

“I’m thrilled,” Shurmur said of the first two days of the draft, with two picks remaining on day three. “Dave and I were talking leading up to the draft and I really believed we were going to get a lot better. I can tell you with four picks we’ve gotten a lot better. We’re trying to build a team. Trying to build a great team. And we’ve added four young players who will be part of that equation.”

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