With two preseason games in the books for the New York Giants, let’s update our 53-man roster projection.
Starter: Eli Manning
Backups: Daniel Jones, Alex Tanney
Out: Kyle Lauletta
This is what I have been predicting all along. I am tempted to drop Tanney and create a roster spot to be elsewhere, but I’m not ready to do it. I’m sticking with three quarterbacks. I think the Giants try to slide Lauletta through waivers and onto the practice squad.
Running backs (4)
Starter: Saquon Barkley
Backups: Rod Smith, Wayne Gallman
Fullback: Elijhaa Penny
Out: Paul Perkins, Jon Hilliman
Perkins (six carries, 35 yards) had a nice effort Friday against the Chicago Bears. I still think he’s behind Gallman and Smith. And I still believe the Giants, who are committed to running effectively, will carry a fullback. Hilliman is probably a practice squad candidate.
Tight ends (4)
Starters: Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison
Backup: C.J. Conrad, Scott Simonson
Out: Garrett Dickerson, Jake Powell
Conrad has yet to make a splash as a receiver during preseason games, though he did draw a pass interference call in the end zone on Friday. I still think the kid is making the roster.
Wide receivers (6)
Starters: Sterling Shepard, Bennie Fowler
Backups: Cody Latimer, Darius Slayton, T.J. Jones, Russell Shepard
Out: Alonzo Russell, Alex Wesley, Reggie White Jr., Brittan Golden, Da’Mari Scott, Golden Tate (suspension)
Coach Pat Shurmur said after Friday night’s preseason game that “the veterans may win the day here.” That, to me, is an indication that Russell and White will end up on the outside looking in. Golden flashed as a punt returner Friday and had a 27-yard catch. I’m not sure, though, how he makes the roster.
Offensive linemen (9)
Starters: Nate Solder (LT), Will Hernandez (LG), Jon Halapio (C), Kevin Zeitler (RG), Mike Remmers (RT)
Backups: Spencer Pulley, Evan Brown, Nick Gates, Chad Slade
Out: Chad Wheeler, Brian Mihalik, George Asafo-Adjei, James O’Hagan, Victor Salako, Malcolm Bunche
I’m going off what Shurmur said Saturday when I asked him which backup offensive linemen had stood out. Gates and Slade have consistently drawn praise, and have shown they can play multiple spots. Brown got some time at his natural center spot Friday. Wheeler worked with the third team, a bad sign for a guy who started at right tackle last year. Asafo-Adjei is still in the concussion protocol and could be headed to the practice squad or injured reserve. I still believe there is a possibility the Giants look to add a veteran swing tackle when teams make their roster cuts.
Defensive linemen (6)
Starters: Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence
Backups: RJ McIntosh, Chris Slayton, Olsen Pierre
Out: John Jenkins, Freedom Akinmoladun, Jake Ceresna, Terrence Fede
I wonder if the veteran Jenkins might take a spot away from Slayton, a seventh-round pick. For now, though, I’m sticking with the rookie as the sixth defensive lineman. I also wonder, though, if the Giants might keep only five and try to slide Slayton to the practice squad.
Edge defenders (4)
Starters: Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden
Backups: Oshane Ximines, Kareem Martin
Out: Joey Alfieri, Avery Moss, Keion Adams, Jake Carlock
In my last prediction I had Martin out. Here, I will put him back in as the fourth edge guy. Carlock was a nice Week 1 story, but wasn’t noticed on Friday.
Inside linebackers (4)
Starters: Alec Ogletree, Tae Davis
Backups: Ryan Connelly, Nathan Stupar
Out: B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Anderson, Josiah Tauaefa
I still think Goodson is out. I forgot about Stupar last week, although I do think Anderson has a chance to steal a spot from him. Tauaefa might land on the practice squad.
Starters: Janoris Jenkins, DeAndre Baker, Grant Haley (slot)
Backups: Julian Love, Corey Ballentine, Antonio Hamilton, Sam Beal
Out: Henre’ Toliver, Terrell Sinkfield, Ronald Zamort
I’m starting to wonder if Beal is going to spend another year on IR. Hamilton could still be on the bubble also, though I believe his special teams value will earn him a spot.
Starters: Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea
Backups: Michael Thomas
Out: Sean Chandler, Kenny Ladler, Tenny Adewusi
I really want to find a spot for Chandler, but I’m still not sure how. I would have to drop someone from another position, and because of Love’s versatility right now I’m not willing to do that.
Special teams (3)
Punter: Riley Dixon
Placekicker: Aldrick Rosas
Snapper: Zak DeOssie
Out: LS Taybor Pepper, P Johnny Townsend
Townsend didn’t get to kick in the game on Friday. What I saw during warmups was not impressive.