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New York Giants depth chart: What it looks like after major free agent signings

Which spots look deep? Which ones look like they still need help?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

What does the New York Giants depth chart look like after their free agent splurge? What can we learn about the team’s potential draft plans by looking at the current roster? Let’s take a look.

Let’s acknowledge first that there is no current depth chart. We’re in the offseason. We don’t really know anything about how the Giants plan to deploy their personnel, or who they will yet add in free agency or the draft.

I’m certain some of you will obsess over who I have starting or not starting in some spots, thought I really wish you wouldn’t. These are educated guesses, and it’s really just an exercise in putting down paper Internet bandwidth a look at which position groups appear to have depth and which do not.

2021 Giants offensive depth chart

Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Position First Team Second Team Third Team
WR Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton C.J. Board
TE Evan Engram Kaden Smith
RT Nate Solder Matt Peart
RG Will Hernandez Ben Bredeson
C Nick Gates Billy Price
LG Shane Lemieux Ben Bredeson
LT Andrew Thomas Matt Peart
RB Saquon Barkley Devontae Booker Gary Brightwell
FB Elijhaa Penny Cullen Gillaspia
WR Sterling Shepard Kadarius Toney Collin Johnson
TE Kyle Rudolph Kaden Smith
QB Daniel Jones Mike Glennon

When I look at the offensive depth chart, I see two positions where more help is needed. Those are:

Guard — The offensive line is absolutely critical to the success of the Giants in 2021. With that in mind, is anyone completely comfortable with Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez going into the season virtually unchallenged as the starting guards, and with no real proven, reliable depth behind them? I’m not.

There are players like Trai Turner, D.J. Fluker and Forrest Lamp still looking for jobs. I’m not sure, though, that the Giants want to go in that direction. If they don’t, that would make finding viable competition for Lemieux and Hernandez a draft priority.

Running back — Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker are the top two backs. The Giants, though still need a third. They can probably find a veteran this summer who would take the veteran minimum salary, or even wait until roster cuts at the end of preseason. As for the draft, I wouldn’t mind using a mid-round pick on a back.

As for wide receiver, we had that debate this week at Big Blue View, and our belief as a staff is that it would not be out of the question for the Giants to someone like DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle with the 11th pick in the draft.

2021 Giants defensive depth chart

Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Position First Team Second Team Third Team
SLB Lorenzo Carter Quincy Roche Cam Brown
DE Dexter Lawrence
MLB Blake Martinez Reggie Ragland Justin Hilliard
NT Austin Johnson Danny Shelton
WIL Tae Crowder Carter Coughlin
DT Leonard Williams Raymond Johnson III
OLB Oshane Ximines Azeez Ojulari
LCB James Bradberry Rodarius Williams Josh Jackson, Sam Beal
SS Jabrill Peppers Julian Love
FS Logan Ryan Xavier McKinney
RCB Adoree' Jackson Darnay Holmes Keion Crossen

A few takeaways from looking at the defensive depth chart.

  • More defensive line help is needed — That is kind of obvious after the Giants lost Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency. Bringing Austin Johnson back helped. R.J. McIntosh did not play a snap last season, though, and based on what he did prior to that I’m not sure I want to see him on the field. Over the last 15-20 years the Giants have made a habit of dipping into the draft on Day 2 or at the latest early in Day 3 for defensive tackle help. This might be one of those years.
  • Blake Martinez and ???? — Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to how the linebacker spot next to Martinez plays out. Same at the edge spots.
  • What about cornerback? — The signing of Adoree’ Jackson settled the No. 2 cornerback spot. Is anyone, though, really thrilled with Isaac Yiadom, Sam Beal, Madre Harper and Ryan Lewis as potential backups? I’m not. I can easily see the Giants grabbing cornerback depth — maybe someone like Keith Taylor of Washington or Benjamin St. Juste of Minnesota in the middle to late portion of the draft to add competition.

2021 Giants special teams depth chart

Position First Team Second Team Third Team Other
Position First Team Second Team Third Team Other
Punter Riley Dixon
Placekicker Graham Gano
Long Snapper Casey Kreiter
Punt returner Jabrill Peppers Adoree' Jackson Kadarius Toney
Kickoff returner C.J. Board Jabrill Peppers Kadarius Toney
Holder Riley Dixon

The only comment I’m really going to make about special teams is that I’m not even really going to waste time trying to figure out who will handle kickoff and punt return duties. That falls in the same category as obsessing about salary cap space — not worth the effort.