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New York Giants initial 53-man roster: Reaction, surprises, takeaways, more

Here is what it looks like ... until the Giants start changing it on Wednesday

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Giants Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have set their initial 53-man roster. The ‘initial’ roster is below, along with some of my takeaways.

The Giants can begin setting their 16-man practice squad on Wednesday after players clear waivers.

Offensive line juggling

During his only media availability of training camp GM Dave Gettleman was peppered with questions about the depth on an offensive line that had seen veteran backups Zach Fulton and Joe Looney retire.

Gettleman acknowledged the issue, but said “We’ll get to where we need to get to.”

Well, the Giants have certainly been aggressive in trying to get to a better place.

On Monday, the Giants acquired center/guard Billy Price in exchange for B.J. Hill and a conditional draft pick. Price is a former 2018 first-round pick.

On Tuesday, they acquired second-year guard Ben Bredeson in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens.

With those two players on board, the Giants jettisoned veteran journeymen Jonotthan Harrison, Ted Larsen and Kenny Wiggins. Larsen landed on season-ending IR. Harrison and Wiggins were cut.

That is doubling down on the offensive line youth movement and adding upside in Price and Bredeson. The only player on the with more than four years of NFL experience is Solder.

Sam Beal does the impossible

When training camp opened, no way anyone thought Sam Beal had a realistic shot at making the 53-man roster. After all, he has only played in six games since being taken in the 2018 Supplemental Draft.

Listening to Giants’ decision-makers over the past few weeks, though, it is apparent they still believe Beal has talent. After opting out last season, Beal struggled at the beginning of camp but got better. By last week’s joint practices vs. the New England Patriots he was running with the second team.

Now, he’s part of the roster. Good for him.

Things I got right

Corey Clement not making the roster. The ascension of rookie Gary Brightwell was pretty clear over the past couple of weeks. Coupled with the rise of Elijhaa Penny as part of the offense and Clement’s preseason Week 1 fumble against the Jets it seemed unlikely Clement was going to stick.

Three tight ends. I had said for a couple of weeks that neither Nakia Griffin-Stewart nor Jake Hausmann were roster-worthy. The Giants agreed. Problem is, the Giants have a game in less than two weeks, and Kaden Smith is the only healthy tight end on the roster. With Evan Engram (calf) and Kyle Rudolph (foot) uncertain to be available for the Sept. 12 season opener vs. the Denver Broncos, the Giants will need to add at least one more tight end.

Something I got wrong

David Sills getting cut. I led with my heart instead of my head when I kept putting Sills on the 53-man roster in earlier projections. As impressive and as good a story as he was, there simply wasn’t room for Sills. If he had C.J. Board’s special teams versatility it would have been different, but the numbers and his lack of special teams acumen doomed him.

I was right about seven receivers. The Giants just chose John Ross over Sills. At least until Ross goes to IR, which is probably what will happen.

Most surprising cut

There wasn’t a massive surprise. Probably the biggest one was letting edge defender Ifeadi Odenigbo go. The Giants hoped Odenigbo would provide pass rush for them, but he never seemed comfortable as a standup edge. He is a good player who will be better served by playing for a base 4-3 team.

There will be changes

Head coach Joe Judge admitted that there may be some players who land on IR, meaning they would miss the first three weeks of the season. The Giants, as mentioned elsewhere. likely need to add a tight end. They also need to open a roster spot to bring Kreiter back. So, don’t go buying jerseys of bottom of the roster players just yet.

53-man roster

Offense (25)

Quarterback (2)

Daniel Jones
Mike Glennon

Running back (3)

Saquon Barkley
Devontae Booker
Gary Brightwell

Fullback (2)

Elijhaa Penny
Cullen Gillaspia

Tight end (3)

Evan Engram
Kyle Rudolph
Kaden Smith

Wide receiver (7)

Kenny Golladay
Sterling Shepard
Darius Slayton
Kadarius Toney
C.J. Board
Dante Pettis
John Ross

Offensive line (8)

Andrew Thomas
Shane Lemieux
Nick Gates
Will Hernandez
Matt Peart
Nate Solder
Billy Price
Ben Bredeson

Defense (25)

Defensive line (5)

Leonard Williams
Dexter Lawrence
Austin Johnson
Danny Shelton
Raymond Johnson III

Edge (6)

Lorenzo Carter
Azeez Ojulari
Elerson Smith
Oshane Ximines
Cam Brown
Trent Harris

Linebacker (4)

Blake Martinez
Tae Crowder
Carter Coughlin
Reggie Ragland

Cornerback (7)

James Bradberry
Adoree’ Jackson
Darnay Holmes
Sam Beal
Keion Crossen
Josh Jackson
Rodarius Williams

NOTE: Aaron Robinson will start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform [PUP] list. That means he will not be eligible for the first six games.

Safety (4)

Julian Love
Jabrill Peppers
Logan Ryan
Xavier McKinney

Special teams (2)

PK Graham Gano
P Riley Dixon

NOTE: The Giants cut long-snapper Casey Kreiter. In a bit of roster gymnastics, though, they team said Kreiter is expected to re-sign.