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New York Giants’ 5 most interesting roster questions

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There are only eight more days until we learn the answers

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals
Garrett Dickerson vs. the Bengals.
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams have to trim their rosters from 90 players to 53 just eight days from now, with initial 53-man rosters needing to be set by 4 p.m. ET on August 31. There are a number of interesting roster questions facing the New York Giants as the deadline approaches. Let’s look at what I believe to be the most intriguing five.

Alex Tanney? Kyle Lauletta? Neither?

Thursday morning, I asked Big Blue View Twitter followers whether they wanted to see the Giants keep two quarterbacks or three. If the answer was three, I also wanted to know who that should be. Here are the results:

Our voters were split right down the middle on the number of quarterbacks to keep. Scroll the comments in the thread and you see they are also split on which guy to keep.

I have said all along I believe the Giants keep three, that Tanney gets the third spot and the Giants try to slide Lauletta through waivers and onto the practice squad.

I can see the argument for keeping two, thus opening up an extra spot elsewhere. I can see the arguments for Tanney. I can see the arguments for Lauletta, perhaps as a guy who becomes a long-term backup to Daniel Jones.

This one is really interesting.

Backup running backs

Including fullback Elijhaa Penny, the Giants have six running backs on the roster. I am of the belief that Penny is staying on the roster as the pound-the-rock Giants want a fullback, not a tight end lined up as one.

That leaves Wayne Gallman, Rod Smith, Paul Perkins and Jon Hilliman competing for two spots. My guess right now is Gallman and Smith win out with Hilliman on the practice squad.

Tight ends

Yours truly has been predicting for weeks that undrafted rookie C.J. Conrad is making the 53-man roster. Which made the way the Giants employed their tight ends Thursday night really interesting.

Conrad barely played, getting only eight snaps. Meanwhile, second-year tight end Garrett Dickerson played 22 snaps, caught two passes, blocked well and had an overall good night. Even more curiously, veteran Scott Simonson played 28 snaps, many in the second half when you would have thought Conrad would be in the game.

That’s either bad news for Conrad, or .... could it be bad news for Simonson? Could the Giants have already decided to keep Conrad and have been using last night to really look at Simonson and Dickerson? If so, that’s not good for Simonson. He had his second easy drop of the preseason Thursday night.

Wide receiver

Coach Pat Shurmur said recently that veterans might “win the day” for the Giants at that spot. My prediction has been that Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, Darius Slayton and T.J. Jones would be the six on the 53-man roster to begin the season.

How on earth, though, do the Giants justify cutting Alonzo Russell? Reggie White Jr. keeps making big plays when the ball comes his way. Brittan Golden has, despite his fumbles Thursday night, made a lot of big plays the past two weeks.

Something surprising could end up happening here. I’m just not sure what.

Linebacker

I’m focused here on the inside guys, not the outside linebackers or “edge” guys.

This one is really intriguing. Not only am I not sure who will be on the roster, I’m not sure any longer who will start next to Alec Ogletree.

Tae Davis has been holding down the second starting spot since early in camp. He wasn’t good Thursday, however, and fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly keeps impressing and might just steal that job.

As for who is on the roster beyond those three? After Thursday night I think that might be completely up in the air.

After watching Nate Stupar go 0-for-4 in tackle attempts, how do you feel good about potentially having to play him on defense? Could Stupar’s struggles re-open a door for B.J. Goodson? Undrafted free agent Josiah Tauaefa posted seven tackles, including one for loss, and a quarterback hit in an impressive performance Thursday. Former Chicago Bears linebacker Jonathan Anderson has been quietly solid throughout camp.