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New York Giants' 53-man roster projection: Final version

Here is Ed's final 53-man roster projection.

Justin Trattou
Justin Trattou
Jared Wickerham

Here at Big Blue View we have been making 53-man roster projections for the New York Giants since well back into the offseason. Well, the preseason is now in the books and teams have until 6 p.m. ET on Saturday to set their season-opening rosters.

That means it is time for our final projection. Unfortunately, that projection is complicated immensely by the injuries the Giants suffered Thursday night in a 28-20 loss to the New England Patriots. Running back Andre Brown fractured his left leg, tight end Adrien Robinson suffered a foot injury and will have an MRI today, and safety Tyler Sash sustained a concussion. Each of those injuries may affect the structure of the final roster.

Offense (25)

Quarterback (3)

  • In: Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Nassib
  • Out: Curtis Painter

I did not see anything this preseason that would lead me to believe the Giants would trust Nassib with the No. 2 job as he went 4-for-9 for 37 yards, a passer rating 56.2. Painter had an excellent night, going 8-for-11 for 94 yards, one touchdown and earning a 128.6 passer rating. Did he do enough to oust David Carr? I still don't think so, but I could be wrong.

Running Back (5)

  • In: David Wilson, Da'Rel Scott, Michael Cox, Henry Hynoski, Andre Brown
  • Out: Ryan Torain

It sounds like Brown's fractured leg might not be a season-ending injury. That opens the possibility that the Giants could place him on injured reserve and give him the designation to return later in the season. They can't do that until Sept. 3, however, so first he would have to be named part of the 53-man roster.

The injury to Brown, and his own hard running Thursday, likely saved Scott's job. Scott had four carries for 25 yards and two catches for 11 yards and a touchdown. That is probably the best work Scott has done in two years.

Cox, the rookie seventh-round draft pick, appeared to win the No. 3 job weeks ago. He had a rough night in the backfield Thursday, going the wrong way on one running play and appearing to struggle with some blocking assignments. He continued to impress as a kickoff returner, however, averaging 30 yards on three returns.

Wide Receiver (5)

  • In: Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Louis Murphy, Jerrel Jernigan
  • Out: Ramses Barden, Kevin Hardy, Marcus Harris, Julian Talley

A couple of weeks ago I thought Barden had a chance to oust Jernigan, but a knee issue has kept him sidelined while Jernigan has played well enough to ensure his roster spot. Barden is just of no use to the Giants on special teams. Hardy, Talley and Harris are all practice squad candidates depending which player the Giants believe has the most upside.

TE (3)
Brandon Myers, Bear Pascoe, Larry Donnell
Out: Adrien Robinson (IR)

For weeks I have kept Donnell on my 53-man roster, with the Giants keeping four tight ends. The injury to Robinson, which apparently occurred when he was stepped on during a kickoff, opens the door for Donnell. Robinson said Thursday night he did not believe his foot was broken but here is a situation where a player might end up on IR simply because the Giants don't have the ability to hold a roster spot for him during the early part of the season.

Offensive Line (9)

  • In: Will Beatty, James Brewer, Kevin Boothe, Chris Snee, Justin Pugh, David Baas, David Diehl, Brandon Mosley, Jim Cordle
  • Out: Eric Herman, Matt McCants, Bryant Browning, Selvish Capers, Stephen Goodin

This is the same group of nine linemen I have been expecting to make the final 53 for weeks now. Herman, a seventh-round pick this year, and McCants, a sixth-round pick a season ago, might be practice squad candidates. If I was Cordle, however, I might be nervous. I would not be stunned if the Giants bring in a veteran lineman with center experience as a reserve. If they do that, Cordle's spot would likely be the one in jeopardy.

Defense (25)

Defensive Tackle (5)
Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, Johnathan Hankins, Mike Patterson, Shaun Rogers
Out: Marvin Austin, Markus Kuhn (PUP)

I have gone back and forth on Austin and Rogers a bunch of times. In the end, there is no way I can drop Rogers after watching the 350-pound, 13-year veteran dominate the line of scrimmage Thursday night and move laterally like a much younger, lighter man.

Defensive End (5)
Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Damontre Moore, Justin Trattou
Out: Adrian Tracy, Matt Broha, Adewale Ojomo

Up until now I have had Tracy making the final 53. In the end I think Trattou, who was on the active roster in 2011 and on IR last year, is probably a more complete defensive end in terms of playing both the run and pass than Tracy.I could be wrong here, but Trattou has been impressive the entire preseason and Thursday's three-tackle, one sack, one pressure performance was no exception. He has made more plays than Tracy and might have pushed him off the roster.

I never considered adding Ojomo to the roster. I know all about his production during games against third- and fourth-stringers. Never once, though, in all the training camp practices I went to this year do I recall Ojomo showing up. There is a reason why the Giants have not advanced Ojomo to working with the second unit. They see him every day on the field and watch his tape every night. They know him better than we do.

Broha has also been impressive. I just don't see a way to fit him on the roster.

Linebacker (6)
Keith Rivers, Spencer Paysinger, Dan Connor, Mark Herzlich, Jacquian Williams, Kyle Bosworth
Out: None

There are no big-name guys in this group. There is, however, a lot of flexibility and several players who could contribute on special teams. My gut feeling is this group will be better in 2013 than many experts think.

Cornerback (6)

In: Prince Amukamara, Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross, Jayron Hosley, Trumaine McBride
Out: Charles James, Terrence Frederick

I have consistently had the veteran McBride above the rookie James, an undrafted free agent. McBride did an excellent job Thursday as a gunner on punt coverage and played 29 defensive snaps to five for James.An undrafted free agent, James did an excellent job returning punts Thursday despite muffing one. I think the Giants try to get him to the practice squad and, if they do, we wills ee him on the 53-man roster later this season.

Safety (3)

In: Antrel Rolle, Ryan Mundy, Tyler Sash
Out: David Caldwell, Cooper Taylor, Will Hill (suspension)

I am just not sure what to do with Taylor. The Giants finally got the fifth-round pick on the field Thursday night and, whether it was rust or inexperience, the results were not good. Poor angles by Taylor led to a couple of big plays for the Patriots, including a 52-yard Tim Tebow touchdown pass to Quentin Sims, and he was late recognizing at least one play in front of him. The concussion sustained by Tyler Sash complicates this situation. Off what I saw Thursday the Giants can't go into Week 1 with Taylor as their backup safety. I suspect he winds up on injured reserve with a "recurrence" of his hamstring issues.

Carrying three safeties is a risk with Sash's status uncertain. What could easily happen here is that a player like Caldwell could be re-signed next week if the Giants use the IR with the possibility of return designation on Brown. Either that or the Giants could hit the waiver wire looking for safety help.

Special Teams (3)

PK -- Josh Brown; P -- Steve Weatherford; LS -- Zak DeOssie

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