Apr 272019
 
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Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion (March 2, 2019)

Oshane Ximines – © USA TODAY Sports

With the 32nd pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected outside linebacker Oshane Ximines of Old Dominion University.

LB OSHANE XIMINES SCOUTING REPORT: Ximines was an incredibly productive and disruptive player for a lower-level school. Ximines played at end in college but projects to outside linebacker in the Giants’ 3-4 system. He has a nice combination of size and overall athletic-ability. Ximines plays with a relentless style, can be difficult to block, and can get after the quarterback. He flashes against the run but needs to show greater reliability at the point-of-attack against big blockers. Ximines will need a lot of work in coverage. He is a hard worker with good intangibles.

MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER DAVE GETTLEMAN AND HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR: (Video)

Shurmur: “Oshane Ximines, ‘X-Man’ – he’s a scheme fit for us. He’s a guy that’s played a lot of football – 48 starts, has been very productive, many sacks. He’s got a good first step. He’s a good edge player. I think he’s going to be a real good fit for our defense in base, as well as in nickel. Not to mention, as good a player as he is, as productive as he is, he’s an even better person. He’s going to be another real good scheme fit for our locker room. I called him to tell him we were going to draft him, and he quickly said hello and dropped the phone. He’s probably as excited a player to hear that he was going to be a New York Football Giant as anybody that I’ve called in the last couple years. We’re excited to add him to our team, and I think he’s a really, really good scheme fit for us.”

Gettleman: “Yes, he is. As Pat had mentioned, he’s a terrific kid. He’s a three-time captain, and we’re thrilled to have him, and do all that stuff for us.”

Q: What does he do so well that makes him such a good pass rusher?
A: Shurmur: “He has a good first step, and he’s good with his hands. He’s got a good counter move. He’s developed some pass rush at the college level. He’s got it in his body. He’s got that initial quickness that you need as a rusher. Then, he’s got pretty good size. He’s 6’4”ish, in the 250s. That’s a really good sized man, and he’s still got room to grow – he’s young.”

Q: Was he your target going into the third-round?
A: Gettleman: “Very honestly, yes. As the boards break, and we had a second round value on him, the bottom of the second. As the board was breaking, we started talking with about 14 or 15 picks left. As we got closer and closer, we really started going through the process probably, we talked about three guys when we were about six picks away – we talked about three. Then, when a guy comes off, we talk about the next guy. That’s how it lines up. Bottom line is, we were thinking about trading up, but I said no, we’ll hold our water because I didn’t want to give uou our four (fourth-round pick) or two fives (fifth-round pick) for tomorrow, because of what our board looks like. So, he was a target for sure.”

Q: You were thinking about trading up late in the third-round?
A: Gettleman: “Yeah – where we were sitting, we’d have to give up the rest of the draft. We were at No. 95, and we were thinking six could get us up to No. 90, get us up five spots, but let’s just hold our water for now, and I’m glad we did.”

Q: Is it hard to project the talent of an edge rusher from a small school?
A: Gettleman: “Again, the litmus test is he went to Old Dominion, he went to ODU. It’s a Division I program, but obviously it’s not a Power Five. He’s at Old Dominion, so you say to yourself, would this kid start in the ACC? Could he possibly start in the SEC? You think about those things, and he can. The interesting thing about him is because he’s played so much and the kind of kid he is, as Pat said, he has legitimate counter pass rushing ability, counter pass rushing moves. Most of the kids coming out of college have their move when they come off the ball, or they come of the ball they know what they want to do, and if the tackle thwarts them, they don’t know what to do. They’re not power rushers, they get stuck. Oshane can counter punch, which is what made (Broncos LB Bradley) Chubb so special last year. Playing across from that (Broncos LB Von) Miller guy didn’t hurt him.”

Q: He’s forced a lot of fumbles, is that a skill you look at? Is that an innate thing or a taught thing?
A: Shurmur: I think it‘s mportant. You want defensive linemen that contact the ball. The ability to knock a ball out, there’s a feel to a lot of that. He has a good feel for it, he is very productive. You have seen guys from smaller schools go on and have terrific careers. Guys develop differently through their college years. He played a lot of football, but I still think he is young, and his best ball is in front of him. Some of those things that they do naturally are things that show up at whatever level of comp they play.

Q: Is he a third down player or every down player that can stop the run?
A: Shurmur: He’s an edge player for us, so he would play the outside backer spot for us when we are five on the line. We can take the nose out and he’s a pass rusher in a four-man front. He can be a three-down player
A: Gettleman: He’s not a designated pass rusher. He’s a legit three-down player.

Q: Where did the high character show up in your evaluation?
A: Gettleman: That’s a big part of that. It’s the scouts going in and vetting him out. We spent time with him and he is just a real quality kid.

Q: Do you see any of the same traits as Osi (Umenyiora) in him?
A: Gettleman: He has some stuff. As Pat said, the forcing of the fumbles has a lot to do with length and arm length and a knack, which he has. He’s got some things he’s gotta polish up before we put him in that category. To answer your question, the kid really is legitimate pass rush ability.

Q: How important was it to get an edge rusher early in the draft?
A: Gettleman: It was stated last night, we need pass rush help. We feel we have really addressed it with Dexter Lawrence and this kid. We got inside pass rush help and we got outside pass rush help. The quicker you get to the passer, the less time corners have to cover and good stuff happens.

Q: How comfortable are you with right tackle to have to wait until day 3?
A: Gettleman: What I’ll say is, it’s where the value of the board is. When we were picking at 17, after Dexter, the defensive tackle group was falling down the floor. To answer your question, there’s still tackles on the board we like. But again, we had Oshane at the bottom of our second round.

Q: Have you guys ever been in a Draft where you had this long of a wait between picks? What was this day like for you?
A: Shurmur: I haven’t. We had to wait quite a few hours, just like you. We felt good about the move we made yesterday, you saw we went up and got (Deandre Baker), and then all of the sudden today — bang, bang, bang — there was a move on corners, so we felt good about why we did that, so that kind of knocked us out of an early pick. I think when Dave and the guys put the board together, and it falls right on a player that is not only a good player but a player of need, I think it is a credit to the process, and I think as we all get to know this guy better — “The X-Man (Oshane Ximenes)” — I think everybody will see why we picked him.

Q: Dave, did this board fall the way you expected it to?
A: Gettleman: You know, there is always going to be wild card things. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and people have different ideas. The best way I can respond to that is, we have not had to reach for a pick. Daniel was where we had him graded, Dexter was right there. Deandre, you know he is sitting way up top, sitting up fairly high, we’re looking at what is going on and we’re saying, “We have to take him. We have to make a move and go get him.” And then the X-Man — generally speaking, everybody’s board is going to be different, OK? If things are working for you, more often than not after you get past the first round, more often than not you are going to get guys a round above (their grade) — so, for example, last year’s, we had a first-round grade on Will (Hernandez). We had second-round grades on B.J. (Hill) and Lorenzo (Carter), so it worked for us last year, it worked today.

Q: What are you expecting tomorrow? You have six picks — do you expect to make all six, move around, maybe trade and get some future capital?
A: Gettleman: Like I said, the Draft is really, it is a full Draft. There are guys in the fourth and fifth rounds that we really like, and we still have third-round guys available. Right now, as the mood moves us, I don’t know that we’re going to move around right now — I’d like to sit and take the three picks — I don’t want to move the fours and the fives, as of right now, but who knows.

Q: You have one comp pick tomorrow — you are also slated to get a good one with Landon (Collins) next year. How much does that factor into just your overall decision making, the comp pick and the value of those?
A: Gettleman: Well, they have become even more valuable because you can trade them, so that’s where they are valuable, but you think about it all the time. You have to look at it as picks are capital, OK, so everybody starts with $7. This year, we started with $12. So that is the way you have to look at it. It is capital. Obviously, the lower the picks, the less they are worth so to speak in terms of moving up, but at the end of the day, you are much better off having more than less. My first year in Carolina, we had five picks. Last year, same thing. You’re sitting there and you are throwing things in the air, and as a new GM going into both places, I didn’t want to steal from the next year. Now, there are some GMs that will do that — they feel like they are up against it, maybe they have a quarterback and, again, they are willing to continually trade next year’s first for this year’s first. Again, that depends upon the situation you are in. I don’t know if you guys remember, but Bobby Beathard who just went into the Hall of Fame used to do it all the time. He would trade next year’s one to get a one this year, and he’d just continue. But, you know, you can never have too many picks, and you just have to be prudent in how you use them.

MEDIA Q&A WITH LB OSHANE XIMINES:

Q: How does it feel to be drafted by the Giants?
A: Honestly, this is the best feeling I have ever had in my entire life. My family is from New York, everybody has been rooting for me to go to New York, and to actually have it happen. I have been waiting all day for this. I wouldn’t want to go to any other team. I’m just excited and ready to get to work.

Q: How much contact did you have with them during the draft process?
A: Honestly, not that much. I wasn’t expecting it. I saw them coming up with the pick and when I saw it, I was like, ‘please’. I got the call and I don’t know how to feel right now.

Q: What do you make out of being the first Old Dominion player ever drafted?
A: I’m extremely happy to set that standard for Old Dominion. Being the first player drafted, I hope to set a standard now and have the tradition continue and have more players drafted in the future.

Q: How good of a pass rusher are you?
A: I do what I can. I’m ready to come in and compete, learn the defense and contribute on special teams.

Q: When did you realize it was a realistic possibility that you could be drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL draft?
A: I figured the NFL was a possibility by my junior year of college. Agents started reaching out to me and it started to become a reality. I just tried to work as hard as possible to get picked as high as I could.

Q: How much did the Senior Bowl help you?
A: Very much. I had an awesome experience down at the Senior Bowl. Being able to compete against the best players in the country. I would recommend the Senior Bowl to any player coming out of college because you get that exposure to every NFL team.

Q: Did you meet with the Giants a lot there?
A: I met with them one or two times, but you basically meet with everybody throughout that process.

Q: You said earlier you wanted to be drafted by the Giants, what was the reason for that?
A: My family is from New York. I was born in New York and my entire family lives up there. Just to be on the team where I was born, that would have been awesome. My whole family was rooting for that and it actually happened. We are all excited for it, I’m just ready to get out there and compete.

Q: Where were you born?
A: Queens, New York.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Ahoskie, North Carolina. My entire family lives in New York. Only my mom and my sisters live in North Carolina. My family up there was rooting for me to go to the Giants.

Q: So you must be jacked up about the tradition of pass rushing outside linebackers this franchise has had?
A: Oh, most definitely. I’m just ready to come in, and do my best, and just be ready to compete.

Q: What is it you do that you force so many fumbles?
A: When you get a free lane to the quarterback, the first thing you have to target is the ball. One thing my coach always preached was, ‘A sack is pretty good, but a sack-fumble is awesome,’ so every time I get off the ball, I try to go for the ball, try to create a turnover.

Q: Who have you modeled your game after? Who do you like studying?
A: I try to take bits and pieces from everybody. One person I’ve watched a lot is Yannick Ngakoue, and I watch Olivier Vernon a lot. There are a lot of people I just pick and choose from — if somebody has a good move, I try to emulate that.

Q: Have you played more with your hand in the dirt or as a stand-up guy?
A: I’ve done a good mix. I’ve played with my hand in the dirt, and I have stood up here at Old Dominion. It would all depend on the game plan that week and what my coach wanted me to do.

Q: Do you have a preference?
A: Not really, I just feel like it is pretty much the same. I don’t really have a preference.

Q: How about running with guys in coverage?
A: Yeah, we have a lot of sub three-down packages here at Old Dominion, and in that case, I had to drop into the flat or take the seam (and) cover up No. 2 a little bit, and some things like that.

Q: What do you think the jump in competition is going to be like?
A: I’m pretty sure it is going to be great. The NFL is the best of the best, so I’m ready to come in and just work as hard as I can to learn the defense and contribute on special teams. I’ll be ready to go.

Q: Were you disappointed you didn’t go in the second round, or is this kind of where you were expecting?
A: You know, my hope was I wanted to be first overall (laughter), but I’m thankful for the Giants believing in me and taking that shot on me. They are going to get everything I got.

Q: Where is your draft party right now? Where are you?
A: I’m actually just at home at my mother’s house.

Q: In North Carolina?
A: No — she lives in Suffolk, Virginia now.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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