With the New York Giants having completed their offseason, let’s take a stab at a 53-man roster projection. This is sure to change once we get to training camp and the preseason, but this is what the roster might look like if the Giants had to play a game this week.
Starter: Eli Manning
Backups: Josh Johnson, Davis Webb
The Giants will keep three quarterbacks. They would like this to be a red-shirt season for Davis Webb. Right now, the No. 2 job is a coin toss between Josh Johnson and Geno Smith. This time, Johnson wins.
Running Back (4)
Starter: Paul Perkins
Backups: Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman
Nothing surprising here. No room for Shaun Draughn or a fullback.
Tight End (4)
Starter: Evan Engram
Backups: Rhett Ellison, Jerell Adams, Matt LaCosse
Last year’s starter, Will Tye, draws the short straw. Five guys, four spots. As impressive as LaCosse has been this spring I had to find a spot for him. Of course, we have seen this act before. The real question about LaCosse isn’t talent — it is can he actually make it to the start of the season healthy. If he can, he makes this team.
Wide Receiver (6)
Starters: Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard
Backups: Tavarres King, Dwayne Harris, Darius Powe
No Roger Lewis Jr. And, in case you are wondering, his recent arrest plays only a small part in this decision. I believe Tavarres King has bypassed Lewis on the depth chart, and Powe also had a better spring.
Offensive Line (8)
Starters: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Bobby Hart
Backups: D.J. Fluker, Brett Jones, Adam Bisnowaty
No surprises here. If I could find room on the roster I would consider Adam Gettis, but right now I don’t know who to drop to make a spot for him.
Starters: Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson
Backups: Corbin Bryant, Jay Bromley
Truth? I’m really tempted to drop Jay Bromley and keep Robert Thomas. Bromley has done nothing in three seasons to justify having been a third-round pick. The only reason I’m keeping him is because of that draft status, and the knowledge that Jerry Reese hates giving up on guys he drafted.
Starters: Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul
Backups: Kerry Wynn, Romeo Okwara, Avery Moss, Devin Taylor
Six defensive ends is a lot, one more than I would really like to keep on the roster. I can’t see the Giants trying to pass Moss through waivers and get him to the practice squad, and Taylor has enough experience and pass-rush ability that I can see the Giants wanting to keep him around. Owamagbe Odighizuwa? Not a clue at this point if he will even show up for training camp.
Starters: Jonathan Casillas, Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson
Backups: Keenan Robinson, Mark Herzlich, Calvin Munson
Remember last year when the Giants kept an outrageous eight linebackers to start the season? Well, this year I could actually see them keeping as few as five. I’ve got undrafted Calvin Munson making the squad in this prediction, but that’s just a dart throw. The sixth spot could go to Deontae Skinner, too. J.T. Thomas? Don’t count on it. He’s still on the roster, but my guess is that is only because he can’t yet pass a physical, meaning that if the Giants cut him now they would have to pay him an injury settlement. It stinks for Thomas, but don’t be shocked if the Giants cut him shortly after he finally passes a physical.
Starters: Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple
Backups: Michael Hunter, Donte Deayon
When coaches volunteer names, that is a good sign for a player. When I asked defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo recently about his cadre of young cornerbacks, he said that Michael Hunter had been the most impressive. Right now I have Donte Deayon beating out Valentino Blake and Mykkele Thompson for a spot. Maybe I’m using my heart instead of my head there, but I want to see the kid make it.
Starters: Landon Collins, Darian Thompson
Backups: Andrew Adams, Nat Berhe
If the Giants keep only four safeties, as I have done here, there is going to be a hot and heavy competition for that fourth spot. I’m giving it to Nat Berhe for now, but in my view he sits squarely on the roster bubble entering training camp. As good a player as he can be, his history of injuries — especially concussions — is a concern. I wouldn’t be shocked in the end if either Eric Pinkins or veteran Duke Ihenacho bumps Berhe.
Punter: Brad Wing
Placekicker: Aldrick Rosas
Long-snapper: Zak DeOssie
The only question here, of course, is whether or not the Giants will actually go into the season with the talented, but untested Rosas as their kicker. That depends entirely on two things — how Rosas performs in preseason games, and which veteran kickers become available before the start of the season.
S Jadar Johnson
OL Jarron Jones
OL Chad Wheeler
OL Jessamen Dunker
WR Travis Rudolph
CB DaShaun Amos
DE Evan Schwan
LB Curtis Grant
WR Kevin Snead
FB Shaun Smith