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New York Giants 53-man roster projection: LB Uani Unga grabs a spot

What changes are there in the preseason Week 3 roster projection?

Uani Unga
Uani Unga
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Let's try once again to project the season-opening 53-man roster for the New York Giants. Injuries always force changes, as does performance. Let me know what you like about this projection, as well as where you think I have gone off the rails.


Quarterbacks (2)

Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib

Running backs (4)

Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa

Fullback (1)

Henry Hynoski

Tight ends (3)

Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells, Jerome Cunningham.

Change: Adrien Robinson out, Jerome Cunningham in

I am probably going to be wrong here. If you go by performance thus far in the spring and during camp, Cunningham should get this spot. Every time I watch him I'm impressed by his pass catching and, if not the quality of his blocking, at least the effort. When I watch Robinson, the reaction is more like "meh." Still, GM Jerry Reese drafted Robinson and made a fuss about him. He will be loathe to cut him for an undrafted kid from a Division II school.

Offensive line (9)

Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Marshall Newhouse, Geoff Schwartz, Dallas Reynolds, Brett JonesAdam Gettis

Change: Brandon Mosley out, Adam Gettis in

Oh, boy! This is like throwing darts at the wall. Blind-folded. With my opposite hand. After several glasses of wine (yes, I drink beer but I prefer wine). Do with that info whatever you will. Anyway, back to the offensive line.

I have no idea how this is going to shake out, and the injury suffered by Marshall Newhouse on Wednesday complicates the whole thing. It was possible even before Newhouse was injured that the starting right tackle wasn't on the roster yet. That is still possible. Short-term, an absence by Newhouse means Schwartz probably goes to tackle. Then again, if Newhouse is ready to go he could still be the season-opening right tackle.

Mosley's back injury might seal his fate. A once-promising player, Mosley has never been able to stay on the field long enough really earn the Giants' trust. Rookie Bobby Hart could sneak onto the roster, but I still believe the Giants would like to get the 20-year-old onto the practice squad.

Wide receiver (6)

Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, James Jones, Dwayne Harris, Geremy Davis

Same as last week. Preston Parker and , especially, Corey Washington have their supporters. Right now, however, to my eyes they are receivers Nos. 7 and 8 on the depth chart. If healthy, I believe Jones and Davis are making this team.


Defensive tackle (4)

Johnathan Hankins, Markus Kuhn, Jay Bromley, Kenrick Ellis

I will keep saying this -- if I had my druthers Markus Kuhn would not be part of the 53-man roster, but as long as the Giants keep giving him first-team reps I have to put him on the 53. Cullen Jenkins, therefore, loses out.

Defensive end (5)

Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore, Kerry Wynn, George Selvie, Owamagbe Odighizuwa

Linebacker (7)

Jon Beason, Jameel McClain, Devon Kennard, J.T. Thomas, Jonathan Casillas, Ashlee Palmer, Uani Unga

Change: Mark Herzlich out, Ashlee Palmer and Uani Unga in

Seven linebackers? And Mark Herzlich isn't one of 'em? Did I get bonked on the head? Well, no. Here's the deal. I added an extra linebacker because a) Unga has been exceptionally impressive thus far and b) Beason's status is clouded by his latest injury, and his long history of breaking down, and McClain has already had a scare this summer. Unga offers the Giants potential protection in the middle. Why Palmer over Herzlich? Trace the arcs of their careers. They look like virtually identical players. Palmer's history of staying healthy is a huge plus for the Giants, and it might be time recognize Herzlich's limits and move on.

Cornerback (5)

Prince Amukamara, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Trevin Wade, Trumaine McBride, Mike Harris


Safety (4)

Landon Collins, Jeromy Miles, Brandon Meriweather, Cooper Taylor

Change: Bennett Jackson (injury) out, Taylor in

The latest setback for Nat Berhe with his calf muscle has finally, and unfortunately, convinced me that the second-year man is not going to be part of the Giants' 53-man roster. Berhe hasn't been able to shake this injury since OTAs. He could be headed for IR. One more thing -- the struggles Berhe has had with this calf injury should give you pause when you think about the comeback of Victor Cruz, now dealing with a calf issue of his own.

Specialists (3)

Placekicker -- Josh Brown

Punter -- Steve Weatherford

Long-snapper -- Zak DeOssie

Tom Coughlin said this week that there is a legitimate competition between Weatherford and Robert Malone for the punting job. I'm not buying. It's also curious that Weatherford was kicking field goals this week and not Josh Brown.