The 2022 NFL Draft is history. The Giants hold rookie mini-camp this weekend. That seems like the perfect time for a way-too-early, and probably massively incorrect, 53-man roster projection.
Honestly, I’m not doing this to try and be right at this point. That would be nice, of course, but what I’m really trying to do is give an overview of the roster and show what it looks like and where the interesting competitions will be heading to training camp.
Quarterback (3) — Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor, Davis Webb
Will the Giants carry two quarterbacks or three on their 53-man roster? We don’t yet know what coach Brian Daboll prefers. Webb lands on the practice squad if the answer is two.
Running back (3) — Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell
Sorry, Sandro Platzgummer fans. I think special teams coach Thomas McGaughey is going to advocate for keeping Brightwell, who could become an elite special teams player. Undrafted free agent Jashaun Corbin could crash the party, especially if the Giants keep a fourth running back.
Tight end (4) — Ricky Seals-Jones, Jordan Akins, Daniel Bellinger, Chris Myarick
Here, I have Myarick claiming the fourth tight end spot. I would not, though, be surprised of one of the two undrafted free agent tight ends — Austin Allen of Nebraska or Jeremiah Hall of Oklahoma — earns that spot.
Wide receiver (6) — Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, Richie James, David Sills V
Noteworthy here is that I do not have Darius Slayton making the roster. Considering their cap situation and options at the position, I think the Giants will take the $2.5 million in cap savings and move on from Slayton.
A truly difficult cut for me here is C.J. Board. He is a useful player as a backup receiver who can help special teams as a returner and a gunner. I would like to find a way to keep him on the roster, but in this projection that doesn’t happen.
I kept Sills because of Daniel Jones’ comfort with him, and because Daboll and GM Joe Schoen have some familiarity with him from Sills’ time with the Buffalo Bills.
Offensive line (9) — Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal, Matt Gono, Max Garcia, Joshua Ezeudu, Jamil Douglas
This is not easy. I have Ben Bredeson being cut, mostly because the current regime did not bring him to New York. I have Jamil Douglas making the roster over fifth-round pick Marcus McKethan, who lands on the practice squad. I don’t have Korey Cunningham, Matt Peart or Nick Gates on the 53. I figure Peart and Gates land on PUP to start the season.
Defensive line (5) — Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, D.J. Davidson, Justin Ellis, Jihad Ward
Beyond Williams, Lawrence and Davidson, this is a “soft” projection. I almost kept undrafted free agent Tyrone Truesdell instead of Johnson, but that would have been three nose tackles. That’s one too many. Maybe Truesdell outplays Ellis and takes his spot.
Ward is listed on the roster as an edge, but he is 6-foot-5, 290 pounds. Just guessing, but his path to playing time might be as a rotational defensive end.
Edge (5) — Azeez Ojulari, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Quincy Roche, Elerson Smith, Cam Brown
With Thibodeaux and Ojulari, that certainly is the most exciting edge group the Giants have had in a long time. Smith is a wild card. What will he turn into. Brown is a fantastic special teams player.
Linebacker (5) — Blake Martinez, Tae Crowder, Micah McFadden, Carter Coughlin, Darrian Beavers
Bye, bye, Oshane Ximines. Joe Judge-Patrick Graham favorite Trent Harris, too.
Cornerback (6) — Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson, Rodarius Williams, CorDale Flott, Jarren Williams, Darnay Holmes
It isn’t going to surprise me at all if the Giants add some veteran help to this group. Honestly, I wonder about Holmes’ future. The previous regime drafted over the 2020 fourth-round pick by selecting Robinson in Round 3. The current regime drafted over him by selecting Flott. If Rodarius Williams can handle the boundary, or the Giants add a veteran, that would allow Robinson to stay inside.
Safety (4) — Xavier McKinney, Julian Love, Dane Belton, Yusuf Corker
I have Corker, an undrafted free agent, making the roster. Again, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Giants add veteran help.
Special teams (3)
Placekicker — Graham Gano
Punter — Jamie Gillan
Long-snapper — Casey Kreiter