When the New York Giants completed mandatory mini-camp in mid-June, we offered a 53-man roster projection. With training camp beginning this week, a few new faces on the 90-man roster, and some additional time to think through how the roster may play out, let’s update that projection.
Quarterback (3) — Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta
Entering camp, Lauletta is No. 3. I see no chance the Giants will expose him to waivers and try to get him to the practice squad. They would almost certainly lose him. So, they carry three quarterbacks.
Running back (3) — Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Jonathan Stewart
In my projection last month, I had a spot for a fourth running back. The guys currently competing for that spot, Robert Martin and Jalen Simmons, are young players with practice squad eligibility. My thinking now is that one of them ends up there, and the Giants use the additional roster spot for depth elsewhere.
Tight end (4) — Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Kyle Carter, Scott Simonson
No change. I’m wavering a bit here, though. I think the Giants could keep five, especially if you consider fullback Shane Smith here. The Giants list him as a tight end. The fifth would be Smith or Jerell Adams. Yes, five seems heavy. Remember, though, it looks like the Giants are going to rely more heavily on the two-tight end set this season.
Wide receiver (6) — Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Hunter Sharp, Russell Shepard, Amba Etta-Tawo
No change. I still think Roger Lewis Jr. ends up being the odd man out. Will it be Etta-Tawo, Marquis Bundy, Travis Rudolph or someone else who knocks him off the roster? I’ll go with Etta-Tawo, who had earned some first-team reps by the end of mini-camp. That spot, though, is wide open.
Offensive line (9) — Starters: Nate Solder (LT), Will Hernandez (LG), Brett Jones (C), Patrick Omameh (RG), Ereck Flowers (RT); Reserves: Jon Halapio, John Greco, Chad Wheeler, Zac Kerin
Change: Kerin added. The Giants recently signed the former Minnesota Viking and Detroit Lion. I’m adding him as the ninth lineman instead of John Jerry, which might be a mistake. To be honest, I’m not comfortable with only one backup offensive tackle (Wheeler). Not sure there is another deserving tackle candidate on the 90-man roster, but wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants acquire a veteran swing tackle at some point.
Defensive line (7) — Starters: Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill; Reserves: Kerry Wynn, Robert Thomas, A.J. Francis, Kristjan Sokoli
I had this as “To Be Determined” last time, but this time I won’t wimp out. I’m giving the spot to Sokoli really only as a placeholder for Josh Mauro, who will begin the season serving a four-game PED suspension. I don’t have rookie fifth-round pick R.J. McIntosh making the roster. If he gets on the field during training camp and looks healthy, he probably gets Sokoli’s spot.
Linebackers (8) — Starters: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Goodson, Olivier Vernon, Kareem Martin; Reserves: Lorenzo Carter, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Mark Herzlich, Connor Barwin
Change: Barwin added. This is a nice pickup for the Giants. Barwin should both help the pass rush and give Carter time to learn. I’m still not thrilled about the guys backing up in the middle, Armstrong and Herzlich. Armstrong isn’t really even an inside guy, I pretty much gave him a spot because he’s a quality special teams player.
Cornerbacks (5) — Starters: Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple; Reserves: William Gay, Sam Beal, B.W. Webb
Changes: Beal and Webb in, Donte Deayon, Chris Lewis-Harris and Grant Haley out.
I have completely revised my thinking here. The selection of Beal in the Supplemental Draft is part of that. He will make the roster. A bit like Lauletta, the Giants wouldn’t use a Supplemental pick and then gamble on passing Beal through waivers to get him to the practice squad.
Second, in my initial projection I overlooked Webb. He started eight games for the New Orleans Saints a year ago. Haley, and maybe Deayon, are guys who could start the season on the practice squad.
Safeties (5) — Starters: Landon Collins, Curtis Riley; Reserves: Michael Thomas, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams
No change. I will stick with Riley as the starter because that’s what we saw in mini-camp, though I think any of Riley, Thompson, Adams and Thomas could end up in that spot. Additionally, I dropped the number of corners from six to five in this prediction because Riley can play both spots.
Placekicker — Aldrick Rosas
Punter — Riley Dixon
Long-snapper — Zak DeOssie
No changes from my original prediction.
Practice squad (10 players)
RB Robert Martin, TE Ryan O’Malley, C Evan Brown, OL Nick Gates, WR Travis Rudolph, CB Grant Haley, S Sean Chandler, CB, Donte Deayon, OLB Avery Moss, DL Tyrell Chavis