How have two preseason games impacted the potential 53-man roster for the New York Giants? Well, let's take a look with an updated 53-man roster projection.
QB (3) --, ,
RB (3) --, ,
Once again, no change. Cox continues to impress. The rookie seventh-round pick from UMass returned a kickoff 36 yards, showing he could be an alternative to David Wilson in that role. He caught two passes, one for 20 yards and the other for 28. Ryan Torain was decent with five carries for 19 yards. Da'Rel Scott missed the game with a shoulder injury. The belief here is that fullback Henry Hynoski opens the season on PUP and the Giants use tight ends to fill that role.
TE (4) --, , ,
Donnell scored huge points with Coughlin by showing the toughness to suit up and play Sunday night. He suffered a scary knee injury on Friday and was assumed to be out of action, possibly for quite a while. Yet, he played five snaps, leaving Coughlin to say "I take my hat off to Larry Donnell."
A quick thought on Myers. He has to be better than he was on Sunday. He was only targeted once, and he and quarterback Eli Manning seemed to miscommunicate on an incompletion in the red zone. It's also readily apparent that he is the least effective blocker amongst the group of four tight ends with legitimate shots to make the roster.
OL (9) --, , , , , , , ,
I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but once again no change from last week. Cordle showed his value on Sunday when he stepped in for Baas and played 63 snaps. Rookie seventh-round pick Eric Herman seems like a practice squad candidate.
This is a change from last week. The more I think about it the more I believe the Giants will go with only five wide receivers and will keep either an extra cornerback or an extra linebacker, mostly to help with coverage on special teams. This, provided of course, that Victor Cruz is ready to open the season. Barden caught four passes Sunday, even if he did get an earful from Coughlin for running a four-yard route on third-and-five.
For now, I am giving the final receiver spot to Barden over Jerrel Jernigan, although that is a "soft" prediction that I honestly don't fully believe in. Jernigan missed Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, which didn't help his case. Cox showed Sunday night that the Giants don't need Jernigan on kickoff returns, and he's never proven trustworthy on punt returns. I know GM Jerry Reese loves his draft picks, but if the roster was being selected today JJ might be the odd man out.
DT (5) --, , , ,
The fifth spot comes down to Shaun Rogers and Marvin Austin. The Giants keep giving Austin opportunities to grab that spot, and from my vantage point he hasn't taken advantage of them. Rogers is a risk because of age and injury concerns, but could help in limited snaps.
DE (5) --, , , ,
Sooner or late it becomes impossible to ignore how dominant Adewale Ojomo has been, even if it has come exclusively against third- and fourth-team offensive linemen. Ojomo had four tackles, all for "stops," according to Pro Football Focus, a quarterback hurry and the best PFF grade of any Giants' defender Sunday, a +3.7.
I won't believe for certain that Ojomo can take the final defensive end spot away from Adrian Tracy until I see him have success against better competition, at least second-unit players. The Giants, though, have to give him that opportunity. Don't they? Call this another "soft" prediction.
LB (7) --, , , , ,
I am adding Bosworth here simply because he's an outstanding special teams player, and the Giants will need a player like him if Paysinger is playing linebacker full time. Seven linebackers is a lot for the Giants to keep, to be honest, but today that's what I would do.
CB (5) --, , , ,
In the end, you probably also have to find a spot on the roster for Terrell Thomas. As I said last week, however, I can't put him on the team ahead of useful players like McBride or Bosworth until I actually see him get on the field in a real game. That is supposed to happen this week vs. the New York Jets.
S (4) --, , ,
No change here, with rookie fifth-round pick Cooper Taylor on the outside looking in. Taylor has missed two games now because of a hamstring injury. It's a risk, but best guess is the Giants try to waive him and get him to IR, like they did with Brandon Mosley last year, or cut him and re-sign him for the practice squad. Either way, they face a strong possibility of losing him if they don't keep him on the 53-man roster.
PK --; P -- ; LS --
Many spots are in flux or undecided at this point. The availability of Baas, Cruz, Hynoski and possibly even Taylor will have an impact on the final roster. The last receiver spot is interesting to watch, and although I have him missing out Jernigan is a pure slot receiver while Barden, Louis Murphy and Rueben Randle are not. That gives him an opportunity, if he can get on the field. Austin still has a chance -- the Giants don't give up on draft picks easily. In the end I don't know how they do it, but the Giants would seem well-served to find a spot for Bosworth. Finally, I know some of you are going to have an issue with my leaving Thomas off the roster. Let's just see him play first before we grant him a spot.