Here is my latest 53-man roster projection for our New York Giants. Injuries and performance make this an ever-changing picture, so maybe I will do this one or two more times before coach Tom Coughlin has to set his final roster Sept. 5. You will probably be able to tell that there are some choices in here I am not totally committed to.
Quarterbacks (2) -- Eli Manning, David Carr
Yes, this is a big change for me. I just don't think Andre Woodson has shown enough in two exhibition games to warrant a roster spot. As for Rhett Bomar, he is still waiting for a real chance in a game. Hopefully, he gets one. As of today, though, I am thinking Woodson and Bomar both get cut, and whichever one is not immediately picked up by another team lands on the practice squad. Personally, I think the Giants will regret it if they let Bomar slip away from them. I am hoping Bomar gets a solid shot this weekend or next and forces the Giants to keep him.
Running Backs (4) -- Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Danny Ware, Madison Hedgecock
No changes here. Allen Patrick, the fourth tailback, didn't even get in the game the other night as far as I remember. And Dwayne Wright, the backup fullback, is not terribly impressive.
Wide Receivers (7) -- Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden, Sinorice Moss, Derek Hagan.
David Tyree? He has come up short on special teams two weeks in a row, and being brilliant there is his only chance. I also still would not mind seeing GM Jerry Reese try to move Moss for a late-round draft pick. He played well early in camp, but Manningham, Nicks, Barden and even Hagan have been better of late. Through no fault of his own, he could again wind up at the bottom of the list when it comes to playing time. Hagan just keeps making brilliant plays in practice every day, and is pretty much forcing the Giants to keep him even though seven receivers is a lot.
Tight End (3) -- Kevin Boss, Michael Matthews, Travis Beckum
Lee Vickers apparently has some long-snapping experience, so the injury to Jay Alford gives him an outside shot. Doubtful, though. since Zak DeOssie is slated to handle all the snapping. Darcy Johnson is the odd man out.
Offensive Line (9) -- Starters -- David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O'Hara, Chris Snee, Kareem McKenzie. Backups -- Tutan Reyes, Kevin Boothe, William Beatty, Adam Koets
Yes, after picking on Koets for much of camp I am now projecting him for a roster spot. Fact is, Koets seems to be adjusting to working as a backup center. He can play guard as well. Of course, this is still the one position where I think the Giants will be tempted to go out and grab a versatile veteran who gets released by another team. As Newsday's Tom Rock said Wednesday, Reyes could play center and the Giants could really use a quality veteran tackle. So, Koets' spot is still very much up in the air.
Defensive Line (9) -- Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka, Barry Cofield, Fred Robbins, Rocky Bernard, Chris Canty, Maurice Evans, Jeremy Clark
Injuries have drastically changed the picture here. Jay Alford is likely headed to Injured Reserve. Even if he might be able to play, Canty's torn hamstring will probably keep him inactive for a few weeks. The Giants can't keep two linemen on the 53-man who can't play. It's likely they keep Canty inactive until he is healthy. Evans makes the team because the kid can play, and I find it unlikely the Giants can get him to the practice squad. Clark will make it if the Giants think they need extra protection at the tackle slot to start the season. Otherwise, look for a third quarterback.
Linebackers (8) -- Antonio Pierce, Bryan Kehl, Danny Clark, Clint Sintim, Chase Blackburn, Gerris Wilkinson, Jonathan Goff, Zak DeOssie
Suspended free agent Michael Boley does not count against the Week 1 53-man limit, so that changes the picture somewhat. Somebody will make this team, only to find himself cut after one game.
Defensive Backs (9) -- Cornerbacks (5) -- Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross, Kevin Dockery, Stoney Woodson. Safeties (4) -- Kenny Phillips, Michael Johnson, C.C. Brown, Travonti Johnson
Rookie cornerbacks DeAndre Wright and Bruce Johnson are bubble guys who still have a shot. Same with safeties Sha'reef Rashad and Vince Anderson.
Kickers (2) -- Punter, Jeff Feagles. Placekicker, Lawrence Tynes
FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm sure I will change my mind on the roster a bunch of times between now and Sept. 5, which is the day rosters need to be finalized. Fact is, once you get to the last 4-5 spots on this team it gets extremely difficult and there really is no telling which way the Giants will go. Will they keep a third quarterback? Risk going with just eight offensive lineman? Dump a veteran linebacker like Wilkinson, or even Danny Clark? Go with six receivers or seven? All really difficult calls.