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Updated Giants 53-man roster projection: Changes as season draws near

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Our newest projection of what the Giants 53-man roster might look like when the regular season opens.

Charles James misses the cut in the latest roster projection
Charles James misses the cut in the latest roster projection
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Who will make the New York Giants 53-man roster. With NFL teams needing to trim rosters from 90 to 75 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday let's take another look at how the roster might look when the Giants face the Detroit Lions in the regular-season opener.

Quarterback (2)

Eli Manning
Ryan Nassib

No change

Nassib has clearly established himself as the No. 2 quarterback. With injuries and other roster needs there is really no reason to keep Curtis Painter as a third quarterback.

Running Back (3)

Rashad Jennings
Andre Williams
Peyton Hillis

Change: Kendall Gaskins out

There was a point in time where I figured Gaskins might outlast Michael Cox for the fourth running back spot. Now, I don't believe either player is making the roster. Gaskins has been abysmal in pass protection and Cox hasn't done much of anything, averaging only 1.8 yards per carry. Hillis hasn't played since the Hall of Fame Game due to a foot/ankle injury. He is, however, a veteran player who can run, catch and pass protect. If he can show this week that he is healthy I think the Giants go with only three true running backs.

Fullback (1)

Henry Hynoski

No change

The Giants have clearly leaned toward Hynoski instead of John Conner during the preseason, with good reason. Hynoski has been better.

Tight End (3)

Larry Donnell
Adrien Robinson
Kellen Davis

No change

There have been quite a few roster predictions floating around the Inter-Google showing the Giants keeping four tight ends. In those scenarios, Daniel Fells is added to the trio listed above.  That is a possibility, but why would the Giants do that? They don't have one truly solid, all-around tight end so they are going to keep four limited players? I don't see it. More likely, I believe at least one of the tight ends on the final 53-man roster is a player currently on another NFL team.

Wide Receiver (6)

Victor Cruz
Odell Beckham Jr.
Reuben Randle
Jerrel Jernigan
Corey Washington
Preston Parker

Change: Marcus Harris out, Parker in

The shoulder injury suffered by Harris opens the door for the veteran Parker, who has also had a solid training camp and preseason. There has been no official word on how long Harris will be sidelined. The belief here is that the Giants cut Harris, cross their fingers no one will claim an injured player and put him on their 53-man roster, then re-sign him to the practice squad. Once Harris healthy enough to play then the Giants will figure out how to get him on the active roster.

Offensive Line (10)

Will Beatty
Weston Richburg
J.D. Walton
Brandon Mosley
Justin Pugh
John Jerry
Charles Brown
James Brewer
Dallas Reynolds
Rogers Gaines

Change: Geoff Schwartz out, Jerry and Rogers Gaines in

I have Schwartz heading to short-term IR with his toe injury. There is no official word on that yet. In a previous projection I had ex-Miami Dolphins starter John Jerry not even making the team. Now, I have added Jerry. There is even a possibility he ends up as the starting right guard, although Mosley still seems like the safe bet. I also added Rogers Gaines as a swing tackle. Gaines, 6-foot-7, 334 pounds, can play both sides. In 133 snaps this preseason he has a +4.1 grade from Pro Football Focus. He has allowed only one hurry in 70 pass blocking snaps. With Charles Brown (shoulder) and James Brewer (back) not healthy Gaines' chances improve dramatically.

Defensive Tackle (5)

Cullen Jenkins
Johnathan Hankins
Mike Patterson
Markus Kuhn
Jay Bromley

No change

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not entirely sold on the depth here behind Jenkins and Hankins. Patterson missed a lot of preseason time with a shoulder injury and his health is a worry. Kuhn, who now has an ankle injury, has not been great in preseason and has never really been a major contributor. Bromley, the rookie third-round pick, shows promise but seems unlikely to play much unless pressed into action by injuries.

Defensive End (5)

Jason Pierre-Paul
Mathias Kiwanuka
Robert Ayers
Damontre Moore
Israel Idonije

Change: Idonije in

I am adding the veteran Idonije, in his 11th season, to the defensive line mix. If he makes the roster it will be primarily as a special teamer and not as part of the regular defensive end rotation. Just call this one a hunch. Undrafted free agent Kerry Wynn has had a nice preseason. He could be ticketed for the practice squad.

Linebackers (6)

Jon Beason
Jameel McClain
Jacquian Williams
Spencer Paysinger
Devon Kennard
Mark Herzlich

No change

This has been the status quo for a while. No reason to change it now.

Cornerbacks (5)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Prince Amukamara
Walter Thurmond
Trumaine McBride
Zack Bowman

Change: Charles James out

Until now, I have had energetic second-year man Charles James making the team, but at this point I have to move on from that projection. James just hasn't shown a lot in preseason and Friday night vs. the New York Jets he wasn't good. He was beaten badly on two pass plays, one for an easy Jets touchdown. He committed a silly, unforgivable late-hit not only after the whistle but after the receiver had already tossed the ball toward an official.

Safeties (4)

Antrel Rolle
Stevie Brown
Quintin Demps
Nat Berhe

No change

With Cooper Taylor gone for the year Nat Berhe could end up playing a more important role than had been anticipated.

Specialists (3)

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

No change

Brandon McManus is good, and he deserves an NFL job. I just don't see the Giants cutting Brown and giving him one.