The 2013 NFL Draft is over and while the New York Giants roster is nowhere being set, there is enough in place for me to take an educated guess at what the roster might look like on opening day. I know at times head coach Tom Coughlin and company catch flak for "playing favorites", but the Giants are a team that really tries to put the best 53 men on the roster. Plenty of unexpected players have made the roster -- like Duke Calhoun a couple of seasons ago -- so you never know what will happen.
Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Nassib
Analysis: The only question here is whether or not Carr remains on the roster. The Giants believe they are a Super Bowl contending team and I think they will feel that Carr will give them a better opportunity to win a game this year if Manning is hurt.
Running Back (4)
David Wilson, Andre Brown, Michael Cox, Henry Hynoski
Analysis: The Giants don't go deep here with running backs this year, relying on David Wilson and Andre Brown. I picked Cox over Da'rel Scott or Ryan Torain because based on what the Giants have said about him he offers a nice complement to the two primary backs. However, the fact that Scott could be a return man and already knows the system could win him the job -- also at this point it'd be hard to speculate that a team would claim Cox off waivers if he was waived. I think this is a position where the Giants add another player if they feel that Nassib could produce this year.
Wide Receiver (6)
Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Louis Murphy, Jerrel Jernigan, Marcus Davis
Analysis: Pretty straightforward here. The Giants top four options are a lock, I believe. I think Jernigan would have to have a terrible camp or injury to get cut. The Marcus Davis pick is the one I'm nervous about. The Giants did throw him a lot of money as an undrafted free agent and he has a lot of upside, but I'm not sure he'll produce enough in any special team role to make the team.
Tight End (3)
Brandon Myers, Bear Pascoe, Adrien Robinson
Analysis: Hopefully Robinson is ready to pick his game up this year, otherwise this position is very thin. I think Pascoe is on the bubble because a player like Larry Donnell offers a lot more potential than Pascoe, who is a guy coaches love to have on a roster but might never do anything special.
Offensive Line (9)
Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee, Justin Pugh, James Brewer, David Diehl, Brandon Mosley, Eric Herman
Analysis: This one is tough. The Giants don't like to cut draft picks early, but they might have to cut Herman unless he can also play center because the Giants love positional versatility. What might save Herman is that both Boothe and potentially Pugh could play center.
Defensive Line (8)
Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Damontre Moore, Johnathan Hankins, Mike Patterson, Adewale Ojomo (Mathias Kiwanuka)
Analysis: The Giants let Tracy go because of the numbers at the position and the needs elsewhere as Ojomo beats him out. Having Kiwanuka available as both a defensive end and linebacker creates space for other players. I think all of the above listed except Patterson and Ojomo are locks to make the team. I think Patterson's relative youth compared to Shaun Rogers gives him the nod.
Keith Rivers, Dan Connor, Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich, Mathias Kiwanuka, Cooper Taylor
Analysis: To the surprise of no Giants fan the linebacker position looks very weak as of today. Even though I have eight linebackers listed only five are pure linebackers. Kiwanuka and Taylor are sub-package linebacker types. I think the Giants will sign a veteran free agent linebacker, but perhaps they are confident in Paysinger's ability to back up the outside linebacker spots.
Prince Amukamara, Corey Webster, Jayron Hosley, Aaron Ross, Terrell Thomas, Buddy Jackson
Analysis: The surprise name here is Buddy Jackson the former PIttsburgh Panthers cornerback. Jackson is physically gifted -- he's 6-foot and ran a 4.37 40-yard dash during his Pro Day with a 40-inch vertical, and 15 bench press reps (pretty good for a cornerback). Jackson has more speed than any other Giants cornerback and could be a guy they see as a gunner. He beats out Alonzo Tweedy here for me -- the undrafted free agent who was a special teams ace at Virginia Tech because he has more upside as a cornerback.
Antrel Rolle, Will Hill, Stevie Brown, Ryan Mundy (Cooper Taylor, Terrell Thomas)
Analysis: The first three spots are set to me. Mundy is another guy who should be a good special teams contributor. Taylor was counted under the linebackers a sub-package linebacker though he's actually a safety as well. I think Mundy could easily be off the team for any other position.
Special Teams (3)
Kicker -- Josh Brown; Punter -- Steve Weatherford; Long Snapper -- Zak DeOssie.