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New York Giants 53-man roster: Instant analysis after Saturday cuts

Cut of linebacker Ryan Connelly a major surprise

Washington Redskins v New York Giants
Ryan Connelly
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

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

Player Pos HT WT Age Exp
Player Pos HT WT Age Exp
Spencer Pulley C 6-4 308 27 5
Corey Ballentine CB 6-0 191 24 2
James Bradberry CB 6-1 212 27 5
Darnay Holmes CB 5-10 195 22 R
Julian Love CB 5-11 195 22 2
Isaac Yiadom CB 6-1 190 24 3
Logan Ryan DB 5-11 195 29 2
Nate Ebner DB 6-0 215 31 9
B.J. Hill DL 6-3 311 25 3
Dexter Lawrence DL 6-4 342 22 2
RJ McIntosh DL 6-4 283 24 3
Dalvin Tomlinson DL 6-3 318 26 4
Leonard Williams DL 6-5 302 26 6
Nick Gates G 6-5 307 24 3
Will Hernandez G 6-2 327 25 3
Chad Slade G 6-5 315 28 3
Kevin Zeitler G 6-4 315 30 9
Blake Martinez ILB 6-2 237 26 5
Graham Gano K 6-2 202 33 11
Cam Brown LB 6-5 233 22 R
TJ Brunson LB 6-1 230 22 R
Carter Coughlin LB 6-3 236 23 R
Tae Crowder LB 6-3 235 23 R
Devante Downs LB 6-2 252 24 3
Kyler Fackrell LB 6-5 245 28 5
Casey Kreiter LS 6-1 250 30 5
Austin Johnson NT 6-4 314 26 5
Shane Lemieux OL 6-4 310 23 R
Lorenzo Carter OLB 6-5 255 24 3
Markus Golden OLB 6-3 260 29 6
David Mayo OLB 6-2 240 27 6
Oshane Ximines OLB 6-4 254 23 2
Cameron Fleming OT 6-5 320 28 7
Matt Peart OT 6-7 318 23 R
Andrew Thomas OT 6-5 315 21 R
Riley Dixon P 6-4 221 27 5
Daniel Jones QB 6-5 221 23 2
Colt McCoy QB 6-1 212 34 11
Saquon Barkley RB 5-11 233 23 3
Wayne Gallman RB 6-0 210 25 4
Dion Lewis RB 5-8 195 29 9
Elijhaa Penny RB 6-2 234 27 4
Sean Chandler S 5-11 202 24 3
Xavier McKinney S 6-0 201 22 R
Jabrill Peppers S 5-11 215 24 4
Evan Engram TE 6-3 240 26 4
Kaden Smith TE 6-5 249 23 2
Levine Toilolo TE 6-8 268 29 8
C.J. Board WR 6-1 181 26 2
Corey Coleman WR 5-11 185 26 5
Sterling Shepard WR 5-10 201 27 5
Darius Slayton WR 6-1 190 23 2
Golden Tate WR 5-10 197 32 11