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Giants 53-man roster projection: Updated look at potential roster as preseason starts

There are a still a lot of unknowns, but let’s take a guess

Graphic by Kyle Howard

With the New York Giants playing their first preseason game on Thursday night, let’s update our 53-man roster projection. There are quite a few changes since my pre-training camp projection.

Offense (25)

Kyle Howard

Quarterback (3) — Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor, Davis Webb

I entered training camp thinking all three quarterbacks would be on the 53-man roster. I still think so.

Running back (3) — Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Jashuan Corbin
Out: Gary Brightwell Antonio Williams, Sandro Platzgummer

The last time I did one of these I had Gary Brightwell making the roster. I still think he could do that if he shows his special teams value in preseason games. His opportunities on offense, though, have been minimal.

Tight end (4) — Daniel Bellinger, Chris Myarick, Jordan Akins, Jeremiah Hall
Out: Austin Allen, Ricky Seals-Jones, Andre Miller (injured)

Ricky Seals-Jones has not practiced since the first day or two of training camp. Chris Myarick is a guy who has gotten a decent number of first-team reps as a blocking tight end. Akins played for tight ends coach Andy Bischoff in Houston. Jeremiah Hall is currently playing more fullback than true tight end, and with Andre Miller hurt he is the only one on the roster with that skill set.

Wide receiver (7) — Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, Richie James, C.J. Board, Collin Johnson
Out: Darius Slayton, Alex Bachman, Keelan Doss, Robert Foster, Austin Proehl, David Sills, Marcus Kemp

I’m just connecting dots here. Richie James, C.J. Board and Collin Johnson are all getting a decent number of first-team reps. If this were a horse race, I’d say Robert Foster is sneaking up on the outside and putting himself within striking distance of the leaders.

Offensive line (8) — Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal, Joshua Ezeudu, Jamil Douglas, Ben Bredeson
Out: Will Holden, Max Garcia, Devery Hamilton, Nick Gates, Matt Peart, Roy Mbaeteka, Josh Rivas, Eric Smith

I am not comfortable with this prediction beyond the starters and Joshua Ezeudu. No idea at this point how the coaching staff really views the competition between Jamil Douglas, Ben Bredeson and Max Garcia. I have Garcia as the odd man out right now, mostly because Douglas and Bredeson have done a ton of work at center. This projection makes Ezeudu the swing tackle, and honestly I’m not sure the Giants want to enter the season that way. Maybe Holden shows enough during preseason to stick. Maybe the Giants look to the waiver wire for an upgrade.

Defense (25)

Defensive line (5) — Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, D.J. Davidson, Justin Ellis, Jalyn Holmes
Out: Ryder Anderson, Nick Williams, Chris Hinton, David Moa

Jalyn Holmes and Justin Ellis have split time with the first-team defense when the Giants have aligned in a three-man front. Veteran defensive tackle Nick Williams is, right now, the odd man out.

Edge (5) — Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Elerson Smith, Jihad Ward, Oshane Ximines
Out: Quincy Roche, Tomon Fox

Quincy Roche was one of my draft crushes in 2021, and he had a good year once the Giants claimed him off waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers. I have to be consistent, though. I applied the ‘rep test,’ which players are getting the most first-team opportunities, in making choices at running back, tight end, offensive line, wide receiver and defensive line. I have to apply it here.

With Azeez Ojulari not practicing, Oshane Ximines has seen some first-team reps and has flashed at times. Roche has had a mostly quiet camp while spending his time with the second and third units.

Linebacker (5) — Blake Martinez, Tae Crowder, Micah McFadden, Darrian Beavers, Cam Brown
Out: Carter Coughlin, Austin Calitro

I know Carter Coughlin has supporters in the fan base. Unless the Giants want to risk trying to get fifth-round pick Micah McFadden, who has been vastly outplayed thus far by sixth-round pick Darrian Beavers, to the practice squad I don’t see a path to the roster for him. Special teams coach Thomas McGaughey is a huge Can Brown booster, and defensively Brown has been at the inside linebacker spot all spring and summer.

Cornerback (6) — Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson, Darnay Holmes, Cor’Dale Flott, Michael Jacquet, Darren Evans
Out: Rodarius Williams, Zyon Gilbert, Khalil Dorsey, Gavin Heslop

The last two spots — Michael Jacquet and Darren Evans — is a soft prediction. Evans, an undrafted player out of LSU, has flashed a few times recently. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale admitted recently he isn’t yet sold on the depth behind Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson and Darnay Holmes. Rodarius Williams, a sixth-round pick a year ago, has barely practiced. This is a spot where the Giants could seek an upgrade when roster cuts are made at the end of the preseason.

Safety (4) — Xavier McKinney, Julian Love, Andrew Adams, Yusuf Corker
Out: Jarrod Wilson, Trenton Thompson, Dane Belton (injured)

The Andrew Adams pickup was a good one and I will be surprised if he isn’t part of the 53-man roster. Yusuf Corker, the undrafted free agent safety out of Kentucky, benefits from the Dane Belton injury. I’m just guessing here, but I’m thinking Belton (broken collarbone) begins the season on IR, where he would have to miss the first four games.

Special teams (3)

Placekicker — Graham Gano
Long-snapper — Casey Kreiter
Punter — Jamie Gillan

I’m still not 100 percent sold that Gillan will be the punter.