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New York Giants first unofficial depth chart released

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What can we learn from the Giants’ first unofficial depth chart?

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants officially released their first unofficial depth chart Monday afternoon. This is in now way binding and could change drastically by the time the regular season gets here. But for now, it gives those of use who haven’t been able to make it to practice a chance to see how the roster is starting to shake out.

You can see the full depth chart on Giants.com, but let’s concentrate on some of the notable features.

Jon Halapio gets the first crack at the starting center job

The rest of the offensive line is as we would have predicted back on May first: Nate Solder at left tackle, Will Hernandez at left guard, Patrick Omameh at right guard, and Ereck Flowers at right tackle.

But at the time, saying that Halapio will open the season as the starting center would have been a surprise. He has taken most of the first team reps over the course of the spring and summer, so this isn’t a huge surprise in August. The competition remains close, however, as Jones played center with the first team before the Giants’ latest rest day.

The Giants are showing a “12” personnel base offense

Rather than list three starting wide receivers, the Giants are listing both Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison as starters. Reports out of camp have said that the Giants are using far more two tight end sets than they had in previous years. This depth chart suggest that they could be moving to a “12” personnel base offense a la the New England Patriots. The two tight end set has the advantage of being both more efficient and more flexible than the three receiver “11” personnel set.

Alec Ogletree is the starting moneybacker

Abbreviated on the depth chart as “$LB”, the answer to fans’ questions about the new “moneybacker” position has been answered, and it’s Alec Ogletree. The position, which is a hybrid between the safety and linebacker positions makes sense for Ray-Ray Armstrong (second on the depth chart at the position), who played safety before being drafted out of Miami. Ogletree is a converted safety as well, but he spent most of his time at the strong inside linebacker positions last year under Wade Phillips. Under Bettcher it looks as though he will be the weak inside linebacker, which should allow him to use his athleticism and blitzing ability.

Darian Thompson is the backup free safety

It isn’t much of a surprise that Curtis Riley is listed as the starting free safety. The Giants seem to want a player with a cornerback’s skillset for the position.

The battle between Riley and Thompson, however, appears fairly close. Thompson took most of the snaps with the first team while Riley was dealing with a hamstring injury. The two even split starters reps with Riley back on the field Monday. Expect to see plenty of both players as Bettcher mixes and matches subpackages.

Mark Herzlich is the primary backup inside linebacker

Herzlich just isn’t the player he was before cancer at Boston College, not with a titanium rod running down his thigh bone. That makes his seven-year career in the NFL is all the more impressive.

While he has usually been solid against the run as a strong-side outside linebacker in the Giants’ 4-3 defense, he never made his living on defense. It’s interesting that he is as high up the depth chart as he is. Perhaps the move to a 3-4 front has given new life to his NFL journey.