With two preseason games in the books, and only a few days before the Aug. 30 deadline to trim rosters from 90 to 80 it is time for me to take my first stab at predicting the eventual 53-man roster. As always, I think it is an exercise in futility since there are always unexpected moves or waiver-wire pickups. Let's see how close I can get, though.
QB (2) -- Eli Manning, David Carr
Carr was terrific Monday night against Chicago. He has more experience in the Giants' offense than Sage Rosenfels and is much less expensive. The fact that Rosenfels is the holder for Lawrence Tynes is not a good enough reason to spend an extra $2 million plus for a guy to caddy for Manning. Best guess is the Giants try to get Ryan Perrilloux to the practice squad.
RB (4) -- Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Andre Brown, Henry Hynoski
I have been saying for a while that I think D.J. Ware's roster spot is in trouble, and I still believe that. Yes, he scored the other night, but he foolishly exposed the ball at the goal line (twice) and that could not have made Tom Coughlin happy. The Giants seem to love Brown and I think he could earn this job even though he hasn't shown up big in the first two preseason games. Of course, another big run by Da'Rel Scott could change that.
WR (7) -- Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan, Devin Thomas, Michael Clayton
Thomas has earned his spot with his kick returns, and Clayton with his special teams blocking. Ramses Barden isn't on this list because at this point I am guessing he opens the regular season on the PUP list. If Barden's back, Clayton might be in trouble -- crunching blocks or no crunching blocks.
TE (3) -- Travis Beckum, Daniel Coats, Bear Pascoe
Coats has earned a spot. I also think Pascoe is better than he has shown thus far, and he is important since he is basically playing two positions. Pascoe's spot could well be in jeopardy, though, if the Giants can find an upgrade on the waiver wire in the next couple of weeks.
OL (9) -- Will Beatty, David Diehl, David Baas, Chris Snee, Kareem McKenzie, Mitch Petrus, Kevin Boothe, Stacy Andrews, James Brewer
Can't see any big surprises here. I have Adam Koets starting the season on PUP, that's why he is not listed.
DT (4) -- Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Rocky Bernard, Jimmy Kennedy
Veteran Gabe Watson winds up as the odd man out.
DE (5) -- Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Dave Tollefson, Justin Trattou
Trattou has been impressive, and the move of Mathias Kiwanuka to linebacker has opened a spot.
LB (7) -- Jonathan Goff, Michael Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka, Clint Sintim, Greg Jones, Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich
Yes, Herzlich looks like he will squeeze out a spot here. That means sixth-round pick Jacquian Williams won't. Notice one other omission? I think Jones, along with the fact that Herzlich can play in the middle if needed, make Phillip Dillard, a fourth-round pick a year ago, odd man out. Sintim makes the team, mostly because GM Jerry Reese is loathe to give up on high draft picks.
CB (5) -- Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, Brian Williams, Michael Coe, Prince Amukamara
I think Coe bests Burnett for the final cornerback slot. Unless the Giants look to the waiver wire, which remains a strong possibility.
S (4) -- Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Deon Grant, Tyler Sash
These four are no-brainers. Veteran Derrick Martin has a reputation as a good special teams player and might have some value. With the issues at corner, though, I don't know how to find a roster spot for him.
Special Teams (3)
Punter -- Steve Weatherford
Placekicker -- Lawrence Tynes
Long Snapper -- Zak DeOssie
More and more I get the feeling the Giants are going to make me wrong on this one, but in trying to move past the debacle of last season I think they should move on from Matt Dodge as their punter. They have a quality veteran option in Weatherford, who can also be the holder if they cut Rosenfels. The Giants have a lot invested in Dodge, though, and he has been extremely impressive thus far in the preseason. At this point, don't be shocked if he wins the job.
Ramses Barden, Adam Koets