Putting together a 53-man roster for an NFL team is no easy task. Today I am taking my stab at predicting the 53-man roster the New York Giants will open the 2012 NFL season with, and I have to tell you that some of the choices are gut-wrenching. I can't imagine how difficult they are for coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese.
Without any doubt, there are several NFL-caliber players who will not be included on the Giants' 53-man roster. Anyway, here is my stab at the roster, with some comments where necessary.
Quarterbacks (2) -- Eli Manning, David Carr
NFL rules now allow three quarterbacks to be active on game days, but I still can't see using a third spot on the 53-man for Ryan Perrilloux.
Running Backs (4) -- Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, DJ Ware, Da'Rel Scott
Andre Brown loses the final spot to Scott. In his second year, Scott flashes playmaking ability every so often. To be honest, not a whole lot seems to happen when the Giants hand Brown the ball. It's time to finally stop keeping him around.
Fullbacks (1) -- Henry Hynoski
Wide Receivers (6) -- Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle, Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan, David Douglas
This means no Domenik Hixon and if this is what the Giants do it would be the cruelest cut of them all, and one I really did not want to make. The Giants simply have to find a way to keep David Douglas, a guy who has done nothing but produce throughout the preseason, shows great hands and ability as a returner. Some will call for Jerrel Jernigan to be let go, but history tell us the Giants will not cut a third-round pick in just his second season unless there is an extraordinary reason to do so. That leaves Barden or Hixon. It still wouldn't stun me if Barden goes, but my choice here is Hixon.
Tight Ends (3) -- Martellus Bennett, Bear Pascoe, Adrien Robinson
Offensive Line (8) -- Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee, David Diehl, Sean Locklear, James Brewer, Mitch Petrus
The risk here is that the only center other than Baas is Boothe. Hopefully, the Giants can get Jim Cordle back to the practice squad. Also, I don't see sixth-round pick Matt McCants making the squad. He is a developmental guy, and the Giants would likely try to get him to the practice squad.
Defensive Ends (4) -- Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Adrian Tracy
This means that the Giants have to waive Adewale Ojomo and Matt Broha and hope they they go unclaimed so that one, or both, can be re-signed to the practice squad.
Defensive Tackles (5) -- Linval Joseph, Rocky Bernard, Markus Kuhn, Marcus Thomas, Marvin Austin
There are a couple of caveats here. Austin suffered a setback recently with his balky back. I believe there is a possibility the Giants put Austin on IR for a second straight season, opening a roster spot for Dwayne Hendricks. The other wild-card is Shaun Rogers. The medical reports on whether he will be able to play this season despite suffering a blood clot cloud this position. Right now, I have to guess he -- unfortunately -- winds up on IR.
Linebackers (8) -- Chase Blackburn, Michael Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka, Mark Herzlich, Jacquain Williams, Greg Jones, Keith Rivers, Spencer Paysinger
Cornerbacks (5) -- Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Jayron Hosley, Michael Coe, Justin Tryon
Yes, you don't see the name Terrell Thomas on the list. As much as it is disappointing, I just don't believe the Giants can gamble a roster spot on a player who has already shown he might not be healthy enough to help them this season. Especially since Amukamara is unlikely to be ready, Hosley's status for the opener is questionable and Coe is still recovering from a hamstring injury. I think the Giants place Thomas on IR.
Safeties (4) -- Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle, Will Hill, Stevie Brown (Tyler Sash when his four-game suspension ends)
Kickers (2) -- Lawrence Tynes, Steve Weatherford
Long Snapper (1) -- Zak DeOssie
We will see if injuries or waiver-wire pickups change any of this before Friday night. For now, though, that is my roster. Your thoughts?