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Five players the Giants could look at to fine-tune their roster

More than 800 players just became available. Will any of them become Giants?

Miami Dolphins Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The thrash of roster cutdown day is behind us and the New York Giants initial 53-man roster is set.

However, the excitement is far from over as teams have been scanning the waiver wire in search of hidden gems to claim or veterans who are now surprisingly available. Outside of the players waived by the Giants themselves, roughly 830 players just became available either as free agents or on the waiver wire.

While we shouldn’t expect any revelatory “answers” for any position to come from this period, it’s certainly possible for teams to find help at positions of need.

We already saw the Giants make a pair of moves to add options for a shaky offensive line group. We could well see them make more moves as veteran free agent linemen become available. But the Giants have other potential concerns besides the offensive line, and there are some intriguing names the Giants could move to acquire to make incremental improvements to their roster.

Let’s look at some intriguing players who could catch the Giants’ eye as they make another round of adjustments to their roster.

Matt Skura - OC, Miami Dolphins

We’ve talked a lot about the questions surrounding the Giants’ offensive line. And we got few answers over the course of the preseason — and perhaps more questions with the play of their tackles against the Patriots’ starters.

One of the constants over the course of the offseason the Giants have been active in adding offensive linemen, and potential centers in particular. The Giants added Zach Fulton, Jonotthan Harrison, Joe Looney, and Billy Price and all have the center position in their background. Ben Bredeson has taken practice snaps there as well.

Skura is a former undrafted free agent who grew to become the Baltimore Ravens’ starting center for four years. He signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins this past off-season only to find himself one of the first players let go in final cutdowns.

Skura is a good blocker at the center position but he struggled with one of the position’s most important jobs: snapping the ball. But given the reports that left guard Shane Lemieux suffered a partially torn patellar tendon, the Giants could (and should) be open to all options for addressing their offensive line.

Le’Raven Clark - OT, Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants have been bringing in interior linemen left, right, and center, but for the most part they haven’t done much to bolster their depth at the offensive tackle positions. That could be a concern for a couple reasons, with the first obviously being injury. The Giants currently have seven healthy offensive linemen on their roster, only three of whom are offensive tackles. Whether Matt Peart or Nate Solder start at right tackle, the Giants could find their depth depleted if any of the three suffer an injury.

Clark is coming off of a torn Achilles suffered late in 2020, but he has the kind of pedigree the Giants have been attracted to in their depth signings. He’s relatively young at 28, is a former 3rd round pick, has rare physical traits, and started 15 games for the Colts while serving as a back-up swing tackle.

Jermaine Eluemunor - OL, Jacksonville Jaguars

Sifting through the Jaguars’ castoffs for help might seem a bit odd, but Eluemunor’s background makes him an intriguing option.

The 26-year-old former fifth round pick started two games at right guard as a rookie for the Baltimore Ravens in 2017 and was named to the PFWA’s All-Rookie team that year. He was traded to the New England Patriots in 2019 and was named the team’s starting right tackle for the 2020 season. He spent the middle of the 2020 season on the IR following an ankle injury, but returned to action before the end of the year and served as depth across the line. Eluemunor even took over the starting job at left tackle following Isaiah Wynn’s season-ending injury.

Eluemunor’s play was uneven, which we should expect from a player who was shuffled to multiple spots after dealing with an injury of his own. However, he reportedly looked promising when able to consistently take reps at the right tackle position early in the year.

The Giants’ connections to the Patriots are strong, and Joe Judge should at least be familiar with the young tackle.

Equanimeous St. Brown - WR, Green Bay Packers

The Giants have a crowded receiver room, keeping seven receivers on their initial 53-man roster, so acquiring another seems odd. However, the team lacks a true backup at the “X” position behind Kenny Golladay after waiving camp favorite David Sills V.

St. Brown is a massive wide receiver at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds with impressive long speed, who racked up 117 yards and a touchdown with seven receptions against the Tennessee Titans in December of last year. Of course, that was his only production of the year, but it suggests potential. Of potential note to the Giants’ coaching staff, St. Brown was a strong special teams player and run blocker at Notre Dame.

Of course, teams don’t part ways with physically imposing 3rd round picks on their rookie contracts lightly. St. Brown has struggled with injury in the NFL and hasn’t played up to his draft pedigree. The Giants like C.J. Board and Dante Pettis, but they’re also one Kenny Golladay injury away from their passing game looking a lot like it did a year ago.

O.J. Howard - TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(by trade)

No, Howard wasn’t cut on Tuesday but I do have to credit Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com for the idea. He listed Howard among the players who could be traded or cut at the deadline. Howard is currently listed as the second or third tight end on Tampa Bay’s depth chart behind Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate, and he finds himself in an awkward position.

Just two days ago, the Giants traded for young former first round pick who is on an expiring contract and has yet to play up to his draft pedigree. A 2017 first round pick, Howard was widely expected to excel in the NFL after dominating as a blocker at Alabama and showing the traits to become a dangerous receiving weapon. However, he hasn’t lived up to the hype yet and is coming off of an Achilles injury.

The Giants, as it so happen, are suddenly thin at tight end as 31-year old veteran Kyle Rudolph recovers from foot surgery and fellow 2017 first rounder Evan Engram deals with a calf injury. Howard’s blocking acumen and ability to play the classic “Y” tight end could give Jason Garrett the kind of tight end skill set he grew comfortable with in Dallas.