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.
Bredeson logged the most snaps of any guard this preseason, with very respectable grades across the board:— Brad Spielberger (@PFF_Brad) August 31, 2021
Overall - 80.8 (13th among all guards)
Pass block - 82.8 (t-16th)
Run block - 75.3 (28th)
He did struggle in limited regular season reps in 2020, but looks improved https://t.co/V3zAwowOAy
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.
Running back (3)
Tight end (3)
Wide receiver (7)
Offensive line (8)
Defensive line (5)
Raymond Johnson III
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.
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.