The major part of the NFL roster-building season is complete. There will still be tweaks as there is a constant turnover at the bottom of NFL rosters, but we know primarily what the 2023 New York Giants will look like.
Which players were the winners and losers of GM Joe Schoen’s 2023 Giants roster build? Here are a few thoughts.
Daniel Jones — The Giants needed to add playmakers around Jones and continue building the offensive line. Well, they added a big-time tight end in Darren Waller via trade, wide receiver Parris Campbell, in free agency and wide receiver Jalin Hyatt and running back Eric Gray in the draft. So, check off playmakers. As far as the offensive line, John Michael Schmitz could give them a building block at center.
Oh, and Jones got paid.
Dexter Lawrence — Sexy Dexy got paid! He also got defensive line help with the additions of A’Shawn Robinson, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and perhaps seventh-round pick Jordon Riley. That means he shouldn’t have to approach the career-high 864 snaps (82%) he played in 2022.
Oshane Ximines — He’s a winner for the simple reason that he still has a job with the Giants, and a chance to make the 53-man roster again. The Giants did not re-sign Ximines until after they were unable to supplement their edge position in the draft. Ximines proved to be adequate depth last season, and could do the same in 2023.
Jason Pinnock and/or Dane Belton — Julian Love is in Seattle. The Giants added veteran Bobby McCain to help fill the void, but they did not draft a safety until taking Gervarrius Owens in Round 7. That means there is an opportunity for Pinnock or Belton, and maybe both, to earn significant playing time.
Micah McFadden — The 2022 fifth-round pick had lost his playing time to Jarrad Davis by the end of last season. This year, not only is Davis back, but the Giants paid mega-bucks to sign Bobby Okereke in free agency and 2022 sixth-round pick Darrian Beavers will be back from last year’s torn ACL. McFadden will likely be behind all those players on the depth chart entering training camp.
Darnay Holmes — The first-round selection of cornerback Tae Banks could have a domino effect on the Giants’ secondary. Perhaps the selection of Tre Hawkins III in the sixth round as well, since Hawkins is purely an outside cornerback.
Their presence could push one or both of Aaron Robinson and Cor’Dale Flott into the slot, where Holmes has been the primary guy for the past couple of seasons. Nick McCloud also played some slot last season, and safeties Xavier McKinney and Bobby McCain can both drop into the slot when necessary.
There will be lots of competition for the snaps Holmes has been getting in recent years.
D.J. Davidson — Before going on IR with a torn ACL last season, the 2022 fifth-round pick was part of the interior defensive line rotation. With the additions of A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches in free agency, and the seventh-round selection of Jordon Riley, it looks like Davidson is going to have to fight to keep a spot on the 53-man roster. Ryder Anderson, who made the team as an undrafted rookie last season, is likely in the same boat.
At least one NFL-caliber wide receiver — The Giants added Parris Campbell, Jeff Smith and Jamison Crowder in free agency. They drafted Jalin Hyatt in Round 3. They re-signed Darius Slayton. They have Sterling Shepard, Collin Johnson and Wan’Dale Robinson coming back from injury. They have Isaiah Hodgins returning. Toss in David Sills, who started games last year, and Jaydon Mickens, who has 38 games of NFL experience, and that is 11 wide receivers. Undrafted free agent Bryce Ford-Wheaton got enough guaranteed money to cover a full year on the practice squad, so he will likely be around. That makes 12. For good measure, Kalil Pimpleton and Makai Polk were on the practice squad a season ago. Now, we’re up to 14.
They can’t all make the roster. The Giants, barring a rash of injuries, are going to cut a couple of receivers who winding up contributing to other NFL teams in 2023.
Who else, Giants fans?