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Ryder Anderson will need to fight to keep his roster spot in 2023

Anderson’s spot is jeopardized by the Giants’ defensive line additions

NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
Ryder Anderson
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The life of a fringe NFL player is never easy. The feel-good Cinderella story who becomes the 53rd man on a roster is often shuffled back and forth from the practice squad, released multiple times, and never entirely secure in a roster spot.

That may be the predicament of second-year defensive lineman Ryder Anderson. Let’s take a look at his chances to make the New York Giants’ roster.

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-6¼
Weight: 276
Age: 24
Position: Defensive lineman
Experience: 1
Contract: One-year, $870,000 | 2022 cap hit: $870,000

Career to date

Ryder Anderson was signed by the Giants in 2022 as an undrafted free agent out of Indiana. Originally brought in as a tryout player before rookie minicamp, the team added him to the 90-man roster in the spring. He did not make the final 53-man roster and was signed to the practice squad.

Anderson ended up playing seven regular season games in 2022, including two starts. He was elevated from the practice squad twice before being signed to the active roster in December. He also saw action in both playoff games.

Anderson played as both a defensive end and defensive tackle along the Giants’ line. He played primarily in a three or four technique. He totaled 152 regular-season defensive snaps and another 41 in the postseason. He also played 26 special-teams snaps during the season.

In those seven games, Anderson totaled eight combined tackles, four pressures, two sacks, and two hurries with no missed tackles or penalties. He was credited with four defensive stops (tackles that constituted an offensive failure) by Pro Football Focus. In all, he put up a 43.0 PFF grade, including 36.3 in run defense, 72.7 in tackling, and 61.2 in pass rush.

2023 outlook

There is some open competition on the Giants’ defensive line, as the team did not make any significant draft investment along it. Leonard Williams’ persistent neck injury throughout the 2022 season means that the Giants may want more depth there. However, with Rakeem Nunez-Roches and A’Shawn Robinson brought in as insurance, there may not be too much space available on the defensive line.

Jordon Riley was drafted as a nose tackle and D.J. Davidson was a fifth-round draft pick a year ago. Anderson will compete with the pair for an additional spot along the line. He showed some potential as a pass rusher, but his run defense leaves much to be desired. Considering that this was the Giants’ biggest weakness in 2022, Anderson could find himself on the outside looking in this season.