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Giants seek pass rush from Panthers’ Smith

The New York Giants were surprisingly aggressive in free agency last month, and they didn’t change the game plan in the NFL draft.

General manager Dave Gettleman rolled the dice on three draft-day deals, found promising players at need positions, and picked up three extra choices for next year’s talent-rich draft in an effort to get New York back to playoffs for the first time since 2016.

New York, 6-10 in head coach Joe Judge’s first season, had three picks Saturday. It took outside linebacker Elerson Smith of Northern Iowa in the fourth round, running back Gary Brightwell of Arizona and cornerback Rodarius Williams of Oklahoma State, both in the sixth round.

The Giants are going to lots of candidates for getting to the passer. Coming out of FCS school Northern Iowa, the 6-foot-6 Smith had 21 1/2 sacks combined in 2018 and ’19, but he did not play last season. He showed well against stiffer competition at the Senior Bowl.

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