When mandatory mini-camp ended for the New York Giants and summer prep-cation began, yours truly did an end-of-the-offseason 53-man roster projection. Nothing has changed in terms of personnel, but with six weeks to think about it I have made a couple of adjustments in my roster projection. Here is a pre-training camp 53-man roster projection.
Starter: Eli Manning
Backups: Josh Johnson, Davis Webb
In my most recent mailbag, I opined that there are a lot of reasons to think Geno Smith can take the No. 2 job from Johnson. I can’t give him the job now, though. He was barely on the field in the spring, and Johnson is well ahead in terms of what he knows about the offense.
Running Back (4)
Starter: Paul Perkins
Backups: Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman
No change from my last projection.
Starter: Shaun Smith
This is a change from my offseason projection, in which I did not have the Giants keeping a fullback. The Giants are serious about improving their running game, and having a real fullback is one way they can do that. Smith, a powerful guy, is one. The other fullback on the roster, Jacob Huesman, is a former college quarterback. I’m not convinced he’s the guy for the job.
Tight End (4)
Starter: Evan Engram
Backups: Rhett Ellison, Jerell Adams, Matt LaCosse
No change — Will Tye still gets the short straw. I am a little worried about Ellison’s calf injury, and there is the annual “can LaCosse stay healthy” question. We’ll see. Perhaps the most intriguing position battle of the preseason.
Wide Receiver (6)
Starters: Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard
Backups: Tavarres King, Dwayne Harris, Darius Powe
No change from the spring. Roger Lewis Jr. was on the team last season, but right now I have a tough time seeing him on the final roster. If the Giants need a spot elsewhere, Powe could find himself back on the practice squad.
Offensive Line (8)
Starters: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Bobby Hart
Backups: D.J. Fluker, Brett Jones, Adam Bisnowaty
No change. My one concern in this scenario is whether or not the Giants would be able to get undrafted offensive tackle Chad Wheeler to the practice squad. I’m not sure he’s ready to play at the NFL level, though, so I’m taking that risk.
Starters: Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson
Backups: Corbin Bryant, Jay Bromley
I’m still tempted to keep Robert Thomas instead of Bromley. Bromley, though, is a draft pick, Thomas isn’t and draft picks tend to get priority if Jerry Reese’s world. I’m keeping Bryant instead of Thomas based simply on resume. The Giants like Thomas, though, so we’ll see if they find a way to keep him. Maybe I’m overestimating Bryant’s shot at a spot on the 53.
Starters: Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul
Backups: Kerry Wynn, Romeo Okwara, Avery Moss, Devin Taylor
No change. The more I think about this, though, Wynn is a guy who might be an odd man out when the final 53 is announced.
Starters: Jonathan Casillas, Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson
Backups: Keenan Robinson, Mark Herzlich
I had undrafted free agent Calvin Munson making the team as a sixth linebacker in my last projection.
Starters: Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple
Backups: Michael Hunter, Donte Deayon
I still have Deayon ahead of both Valentino Blake and Mykkele Thompson. And I’m still probably using my heart instead of my head.
Starters: Landon Collins, Darian Thompson
Backups: Andrew Adams, Nat Berhe
If everyone is healthy, I think this is the four the Giants go with. Tough to leave off Eric Pinkins and Duke Ihenacho.
Special Teams (3)
Placekicker — Aldrick Rosas
Punter — Brad Wing
Long-snapper — Zak DeOssie
The only question here is whether Rosas, who has never kicked in a regular-season game, can win the job. Right now, he’s the only kicker in camp. So the job is his — until it’s not.