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2015 NFL Roster Cuts: Are there waiver wire upgrades for the Giants?

Can the Giants find a roster upgrade among the other 31 teams' roster cuts?

Jonathan Meeks
Jonathan Meeks
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

As it stands now, here are your 2015 New York Giants:


Quarterback (2)

Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib

Running back (4)

Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa

Fullback (1)

Nikita Whitlock

Tight end (3)

Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells, Jerome Cunningham

Offensive line (8)

Starters (projected) -- Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Geoff Schwartz, Marshall Newhouse

Reserves -- John Jerry, Dallas Reynolds, Bobby Hart

Wide receiver (6)

Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Dwayne Harris, Geremy Davis, Preston Parker


Defensive tackle (5)

Johnathan Hankins, Jay Bromley, Kenrick Ellis, Cullen Jenkins, Markus Kuhn

Defensive end (5)

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

Linebacker (6)

Jon Beason, Devon Kennard, J.T. Thomas III, Mark Herzlich, Uani Unga, Jonathan Casillas

Cornerback (6)

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

Safety (4)

Landon Collins, Stevie Brown, Brandon Meriweather, Cooper Taylor

Specialists (3)

Plackekicker -- Josh Brown

Punter -- Brad Wing

Long-snapper -- Zak DeOssi

But is this the Giants FINAL 53-man roster?

Maybe, maybe not.

There are, of course, the rumors that the Giants and the Seattle Seahawks are talking about a Kam Chanecllor trade. That would be a biggie. There are also roughly 700 fooball players who suddenly find themselves without teams today. Twenty-two of them are former Giants, but there are 31 other teams who trimmed their rosters down to 53 Saturday. Among those the Giants might be able to find an upgrade or two.

So let's take a look at some individual units that might benefit from an upgrade.


This is the obvious unit to target for an upgrade. Despite the Giants spending three of their 2015 draft picks on safeties (2nd, 4th, and 5th), converting cornerback Bennett Jackson to safety, and signing three free agents (Jeromy Miles, Brandon Meriweather, and Stevie Brown). Despite all of that, precious few of those resources stuck as injuries plagued the unit.

With potential trades still up in the air, let's take a look at some safeties who are suddenly on the waiver wire who might help the Giants.

Jonathan Meeks, Buffalo Bills - Meeks is a player that the Bills just didn't want to cut. Reportedly they tried to work a trade for him, but were unable to. Meeks made his mark on special teams in 2013, and impressed as a safety. He missed half of his rookie season with a wrist injury and all of his sophomore season with a neck injury.

Durell Eskridge, New York Jets - Eskridge should be a familiar name around here. As a big, long free safety and a Syracuse alum, it was anticipated that the Giants would be interested in him in the 2015 NFL Draft. Eskridge ultimately went undrafted, signing with the Jets. He is an average athlete, but has exceptional size for the position as well as the ability to play center field.

Kurtis Drummond, Houston Texans - Drummond is another name who should be familiar from the draft process. The free safety has length, athleticism, and ball skills, but showed only average instincts and inconsistent tackling at Michigan State.


Much to the consternation of Giants' fans everywhere, the Giants' linebacking corps has become a perennial weakness. The Giants have some rays of hope there with Devon Kennard, J.T. Thomas, and Uani' Unga, but some young talent would certainly be welcome.

Lynden Trail, Texans -  Trail was a pre-draft enigma who the Giants showed some interest in. He transferred to Norfolk State after Urban Meyer left Florida, and possesses intriguing athleticism and physical tools. He could play defensive end, linebacker, or even tight end.

Kevin Reddick, Bills - Reddick is a North Carolina alum, and has the physical tools typical of the players brought in by Butch Davis during his time there. He has great size (6-foot-3, 240 pounds), long arms, and the athleticism to play in space. Reddick is a third-year pro who was claimed off waivers by the Bills after he lost a numbers game in Carolina.

Mason Foster, Chicago Bears - Yet another name that should be familiar to Giants fans. Foster was signed by the Bears after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers let him walk. Foster has played well in preseason, but has a limited ceiling.

Mike Hull, Miami Dolphins - Undersized, slow... But a graduate of Linebacker U, Mike Hull was a tackling machine of a MIKE linebacker at Penn State. Hull is very bright and plays with tremendous instincts, he is the type of linebacker who always manages to find himself around the ball. He is considered a candidate for the Miami practice squad, unless he gets signed to another team first.

Defensive Tackle

The Giants have five defensive tackles on their roster, but Kenrick Ellis is only on a one-year deal, Cullen Jenkins is nearing the end of his career. Oh, and Markus Kuhn. The Giants might look to add a tackle who is both an upgrade and might be around for a while.

Louis Nix, Texans - When Notre Dame made their run to the BCS title game, Nix was often a man among boys on defense. His combination of size, strength, and agility (for his size) were too much for most offensive linemen. Since then he has been slowed by knee issues and hasn't shown the same versatility or dominance, though he did play well in the 2015 preseason.

Kelcy Quarles, Indianapolis Colts - Quarles was in Giants' camp in 2014, and showed promise. He was ultimately waived in favor of Kuhn and landed with the Colts. Quarles reportedly impressed during the Colts' training camp and preseason, and no reason has yet been given for his release.

DeAndre ColemanDolphins - Coleman is a strong defensive tackle with outstanding length (6-5, 34 3/8" arms). He was the anchor of the Cal defensive line and is very difficult to move. Coleman isn't much of a pass rusher, but can make life difficult for teams that want to run between the tackles.

Offensive Line

The Giants are only carrying eight offensive linemen, and while Marshall Newhouse has played better than fans have feared he would, the Giants could still use an upgrade at backup tackle. Even if it is only temporary, until Will Beatty comes back. Between the number of linemen teams usually keep and the importance of having quality backups, not many truly good offensive linemen are released.

Andrew McDonald, Cleveland Browns - McDonald seems to be a player that the Browns wanted to keep around, and are trying to figure out a way to keep him on or around their squad. The 6-6, 310-pound left tackle has intriguing tools and could be an upgrade as a backup tackle.

Laurence Gibson, Dallas Cowboys - A developmental tackle, Gibson has the frame of an NFL offensive tackle, he just needs to fill it out. If he can't help the Giants now, he could grow into a replacement for Will Beatty.

Barrett Jones, St. Louis Rams - The Giants love versatility, and Jones might be the walking embodiment of versatility. He played tackle, guard, and center at the University of Alabama, and was an All-American at each of them -- while leading the Tide's offensive line to three National Championships in four years. Tough, smart, and a team leader, he also has the long arms and big hands the Giants love in their linemen.