On Monday, we posted an updated unofficial depth chart for the New York Giants. Let’s try another way to look at the Giants today with a way-too-early and probably way off base 53-man roster projection.
It is, honestly, ridiculous to try and predict the 53-man roster on May 2 — before the Giants have even held a rookie minicamp. So, don’t hold me to these. I’m really just offering this as a way to identify where there are going to be clear competitions for roster spots, and the options the Giants might have in building their season-opening roster.
Quarterback (2) — Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor
Tommy DeVito isn’t knocking Tyrod Taylor off the roster. I have to believe the Giants will be on the lookout for a better option to eventually stash on the practice squad
Running back (3) — Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Eric Gray
[Out: Gary Brightwell, Jashaun Corbin]
Gray was not drafted to be a 2023 replacement for Barkley. He was drafted to upgrade the Giants’ depth, and that is what I think he will do. Maybe Brightwell sticks because of his special teams ability, but he hasn’t proven to be a real NFL running back and his 2022 kickoff returns were uninspiring.
Tight end (4) — Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager, Tommy Sweeney
[Out: Chris Myarick, Dre Miller]
Myarick is a journeyman who has hung around for a couple of years, but his time might be up. Miller probably lands back on the practice squad.
Wide receiver (7) — Isaiah Hodgins, Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton, Jalin Hyatt, Wan’Dale Robinson, Collin Johnson, Jeff Smith
[IR/PUP: Sterling Shepard]
[Out: Jamison Crowder, Jaydon Mickens, Kalil Pimpleton, Makai Polk, David Sills]
I listed seven wide receivers simply because that is how many the Giants started with a year ago. I honestly have no idea how the final two spots, or one spot if they keep just six, will shake out. This is complicated by the reality that it is impossible right now to know if Robinson or Shepard will be ready to start the season. You might even keep an eye on Bryce Ford-Wheaton, reportedly signed as an undrafted free agent.
Offensive line (9) — Andrew Thomas, Ben Bredeson, John Michael Schmitz, Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal, Tyre Phillips, Joshua Ezeudu, J.C. Hassenauer, Shane Lemieux
[Out: Marcus McKethan, Matt Peart, Korey Cunningham, Jack Anderson, Wyatt Davis, Solomon Kindley]
Like with wide receiver, without seeing this team on the field I have no idea how the last couple of spots on the line play out. There are options, which is a good thing. So, we’ll see.
Defensive line (5) — Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, A’Shawn Robinson, Jordon Riley
[Out: D.J. Davidson, Ryder Anderson]
Riley and Davidson could both make the team. They could both make the practice squad. Here, I’m taking the 338-pound rookie to best Davidson for a roster spot.
Edge (4) — Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Jihad Ward, Elerson Smith
[Out: Tomon Fox]
I have Smith ahead of Fox, but that’s absolutely debatable. Besides, Smith has been hurt so often whether or not he will actually be available is a good question.
Inside linebacker (5) — Bobby Okereke, Darrian Beavers, Jarrad Davis, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin
Five inside linebackers feels like a lot, but Brown and Coughlin are really “combo” players who can and have worked both off-ball and on the edge. Special teams value keeps them both on the team. No Jarrad Davis? The Giants preferred Davis at the end of last season, and here I have the Giants trying to pass McFadden to the practice squad.
Cornerback (7) — Adoree’ Jackson, Deonte Banks, Aaron Robinson, Cor’Dale Flott, Amani Oruwariye, Nick McCloud, Tre Hawkins III
[Out: Zyon Gilbert, Rodarius Williams, Darnay Holmes]
Holmes out? Well, that has to qualify as my get your attention stunner for this early, utterly meaningless and probably completely wrong prediction. Why Holmes, though? Look at the options the Giants have in the slot. Robinson, Flott and McCloud can all go there. So can Gilbert if they keep him as at least a practice squad player. Safety Xavier McKinney can drop down into the slot. So, here I have the Giants cutting Holmes and taking the $2.743 million in cap savings.
Maybe that’s right. Maybe that’s nuts. It’s worth discussion.
Safety (4) — Xavier McKinney, Bobby McCain, Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton
[Out: Gervarrius Owens, Trenton Thompson]
In this projection I have Owens, likely seen as a special teams contributor, beginning the year on the practice squad.
Special teams (3)
Placekicker — Graham Gano
Punter — Jamie Gillan
Long-snapper — Casey Kreiter