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New York Giants’ 53-man roster analysis: Paul Perkins, Brian Mihalik, B.J. Goodson among surprises

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New York Giants v New England Patriots
Paul Perkins
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The New York Giants have set their initial 53-man roster. That roster could change as early as Sunday with potential waiver claims and signings of veteran free agents let go by other NFL teams.

Here are some initial takeaways.

Tanney over Lauletta

I know there are many who don’t understand what the Giants see in veteran Alex Tanney, a guy who has played in just one game while being in the league since 2012. The Giants, though, proved once again how much they value the intangibles and experience he brings. Pat Shurmur also proved he wasn’t kidding when he talked about his desire to keep as many quarterbacks as he could.

As for Lauletta, last year’s rough rookie season and the drafting of Daniel Jones were too much for him to overcome.

Tight end mystery

The Giants not only placed Scott Simonson on injured reserve with the high ankle sprain he suffered Thursday, but they waived undrafted C.J. Conrad. That second move surprised me. I figured all along the Giants would keep four tight ends. Also, I will fall on my sword if this doesn’t come to pass, but I doubt Conrad gets through waivers and I think the Giants could regret losing him.

No undrafted free agents

There are always a couple of undrafted free agents who make the roster. Well, almost always. Not a single one made the cut this year. Guys like Conrad, center James O’Hagan, wide receiver Reggie White Jr., running back Jon Hilliman and linebacker Josiah Tauaefa could all find their way to the practice squad.

A spot for Paul Perkins

The Giants, to my surprise, put Rod Smith (adductor) on season-ending IR. That’s not a four- or five-month injury. The beneficiary was Paul Perkins, who apparently showed a coaching staff that didn’t know him well enough to stick around. Good for Perkins, a good soldier last season who stuck around while on IR and helped his teammates any way he could.

Hustle rewarded

That’s really all there is to say about the Giants finding a spot for Alonzo Russell. In the end, I am not all that surprised the Giants found a spot for Russell. They have been trying to construct a hard-working, do anything you can to help the team culture. Russell’s play this summer embodied that. Good for him. [Full story]

The wrong five

In my final 53-man roster projection, I correctly had the Giants keeping five defensive linemen. I just had them keeping rookie Chris Slayton over second-year man RJ McIntosh. Perhaps McIntosh’s play Thursday against the New England Patriots swayed that decision.

B.J. Goodson sticks around

A former starting linebacker, Goodson ran with the third team most of the summer and it didn’t seem like he was in the Giants’ plans. Maybe he isn’t, but at least for now he is still on the roster. I didn’t think that was going to happen.

Brian Mihalik?

In my view, Mihalik making the initial roster as the swing tackle is perhaps the biggest surprise on the entire 53. I wonder if he will still be there on Monday.

About the defensive backs

We wondered aloud if the Giants would risk giving Sam Beal a roster spot despite his hamstring/groin issues. They did. They also found spots for Antonio Hamilton and Sean Chandler. I wasn’t sure that Chandler, a second-year player, would make the roster. What really opened a spot for him was the Giants deciding to go with three tight ends rather than four.

Current 53-man roster

Offense (25)

QB (3): Eli Manning, Daniel Jones (R), Alex Tanney

RB (4): Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Jr., Paul Perkins, Eli Penny

WR: (6): Sterling Shepard, Bennie Fowler III, Russell Shepard, Cody Latimer, Darius Slayton (R), Alonzo Russell

TE (3): Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Garrett Dickerson

C/G (4): Will Hernandez, Kevin Zeitler, Jon Halapio, Spencer Pulley

OT (5): Nate Solder, Mike Remmers, Nick Gates, Chad Slade, Brian Mihalik

Defense (25)

DL (5): Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence II (R), Olsen Pierre, RJ McIntosh

OLB (4): Kareem Martin, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines (R)

ILB (5): Alec Ogletree, Tae Davis, Ryan Connelly (R), B.J. Goodson, Nate Stupar

DB (11) Janoris Jenkins, DeAndre Baker (R), Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, Grant Haley, Antonio Hamilton, Michael Thomas, Julian Love (R), Corey Ballentine (R), Sean Chandler, Sam Beal

Special Teams (3)

K: Aldrick Rosas

P: Riley Dixon

LS: Zak DeOssie

Players let go

Here is the breakdown of players removed from the roster on Saturday.

Waived: Quarterback Kyle Lauletta; running back Jon Hilliman; wide receivers TJ Jones and Reggie White, Jr.; tight ends C.J. Conrad and Jake Powell; offensive linemen Paul Adams, Evan Brown, Malcolm Bunche and James O’Hagan; defensive linemen Chris Slayton, Freedom Akinmoladun, Jake Ceresna, John Jenkins; linebackers Joey Alfieri, Jake Carlock, Terrence Fede, Avery Moss and Josiah Tauaefa; defensive backs Tenny Adewusi and Terrell Sinkfield, Jr.; punter Johnny Townsend; long snapper Taybor Pepper.

Waived/injured: Linebacker Keion Adams (knee), defensive back Kenny Ladler (hamstring), tackle Victor Salako (shoulder), defensive back Henre’ Toliver (ankle), wide receiver Alex Wesley (foot/ankle), tackle Chad Wheeler (back) and defensive back Ronald Zamort (ankle).

Placed on IR: Linebacker Jonathan Anderson (knee), tackle (2019 seventh-round draft choice) George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), wide receiver Brittan Golden (calf), tight end Scott Simonson (ankle) and running back Rod Smith (adductor).

Suspended: Wide receiver Golden Tate

Waived from Commissioner’s Exempt List: Safety Kamrin Moore