The New York Giants have set their initial 53-man roster. Here are some thoughts on what the Giants did, what they didn’t do, and what they still might do in the next couple of day.
- Linebacker Ryan Connelly being cut. The 2019 fifth-round pick looked like a solid player before tearing his ACL after three games last season. Struggled to get healthy. Maybe he lands on the practice squad and the Giants wait to see if he gets fully healthy. There is also the possibility Connelly is added to the roster when and if Mayo goes on IR, provided he clears waivers. That is probably the biggest surprise so far. Both rookie inside linebackers, T.J. Brunson and Tae Crowder, made the roster. Edge defenders Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin also both made the 53.
- C.J. Board at wide receiver over Alex Bachman and Austin Mack. Maybe the Giants like Board’s experience (four games with Jacksonville last season).
- The fact that the Giants cut BOTH Cooper Rush and Alex Tanney and will go with two quarterbacks, Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy. One of Rush or Tanney figures to land on the practice squad.
- Spencer Pulley making the final roster while recently-signed Jon Halapio and undrafted free agent Tyler Haycraft were both cut. I figured Halapio’s signing meant Pulley would be out.
Possible waiver claims
One of the worst things about roster cut day is that you get players who make the team one day, then lose their job the next day. Think about Alonzo Russell a year ago, making the team after a terrific training camp only to be cut the following day when the Giants claimed Cody Core.
That is probably going to happen to one or more Giants this time around.
The Giants are fourth in waiver wire order, the same spot they held in the 2020 NFL Draft. Who could the Giants claim?
Start with the two cornerbacks the Philadelphia Eagles cut, Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas. Either or both would upgrade what the Giants currently have. Want a potential pass rusher? How about Shaquem Griffin?
The Jets cut rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson, who some people like. The Raiders cut veteran and former Giants first-round pick Prince Amukamara. How about a safety like Sean Davis, cut by the Washington Football Team? Want a big wide receiver? The Arizona Cardinals cut Hakeem Butler.
Point is, the roster we see right now is not going to the same one that opens the season Sept. 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Watch for Nick Falato’s upcoming look at potential Giants’ waiver claims/free agent signings.
Judge has repeatedly stressed the idea of “versatility.”
“Really the biggest thing we’re working on as far as building this roster is building the versatility on both sides of the ball, and that factors into the kicking game as well,” the coach said earlier in the week. “If we have good versatility, that will allow for us to have multiple game plans and schemes so we can match opponents and deal with different situations we’re going to face.”
Did he achieve it with this roster?
Projecting the future
Judge has often talked about projecting where the Giants are going, not where they are. He made a similar point about being able to project what players will become when asked this week about building a roster.
“I’ve learned from several guys that I have worked for, you can’t survive with pacifiers. You can’t have a guy out there just because he knows what to do right now and may have a general edge on somebody just based on experience,” Judge said. “Ultimately, you have to see the upside of somebody and what you can develop them into. It’s important to not go ahead and build your entire roster based on where it is right now. It’s important to look long term. Where are they going to be Week 6, Week 8, Week 10? How is each individual going to progress and what do we think our unit is going to look like by the end of the year?”
The Giants likely didn’t see upside with players like Grant Haley, Chris Slayton and a few others.
The full 53-man roster, for now, is below. A reminder that both safety Xavier McKinney and linebacker David Mayo could be headed to IR on Sunday, among other changes that could be made with waiver claims and potential free-agent signings. One other note — the Giants list Nick Gates as an offensive lineman, not a center, which is why he is listed that way here.
Giants’ 53-man roster