60. Jamison Crowder, WR
58. Jack Anderson, G
57. Chris Myarick, TE
56. David Sills, WR
55. Tommy Sweeney, TE
54. Matt Peart, OT
53. Collin Johnson, WR
52. Jeff Smith, WR
51. Amani Oruwariye, CB
This is a group of players who are all probably on the roster bubble.
Considering how much he has accomplished in his career (415 receptions over eight years) I feel bad putting Jamison Crowder this low. Still, he will have to fight for a roster spot and probably only makes it if he ends up returning punts.
Honestly, I won’t be shocked one way or another if any of these players a) makes the 53-man roster or practice squad, or b) gets sent packing.
I definitely agree with Ed that each of these players is likely on the roster bubble. In fact, I don’t think it’s that outlandish to think that none of them make the final roster. There’s an argument that most of these players could be at the bottom of their respective depth charts before all is said and done.
Of course, there’s also the potential for several of them to make strong pushes for roster spots. Collin Johnson is at the top of that list for me, if only because the Giants have very little in the way of true outside receivers. But also, the last time we saw Johnson, he looked more like the Kenny Golladay Giants fans thought they were getting than Kenny Golladay did. That was obviously a small sample size, and might not hold true this year, but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind.
Ed says he feels it’s a bit unfair to Crowder to have him this low, and I’d agree. In fact, I’d probably swap him with Cole Beasley at 49 in the next group. The Giants have been looking for a good, reliable punt returner for a while, and Crowder is quite good at that. They’ve also
invested very heavily in slot receivers, and almost seem to be planning a “5 slot” offense. Beasley was just signed and has been a popular name for the Giants thanks to his Buffalo connection. However, he’s 34 and has seen his per-catch average drop from 11.3 yards, to 8.5, to 5.3.
The battle between Chris Myarick (and Tommy Sweeney) and Lawrence Cager is going to be fascinating to watch and could tell us a lot about how the Giants want to play offense this year.
And then there’s the mysterious Matt Peart. As I’ve said before, Peart simply looks like an NFL offensive tackle. He looks like an OL coach ordered him out of a catalog and he has a lot of the traits to be an NFL offensive tackle. But he has either been injured and off the field, or unimpressive when on it. There are a few players on this roster who could really surprise if they could stay healthy and play up to their athletic upside, and Peart is at the top of the list. But this could also be his last chance to be a Giant.
50. James Robinson, RB
49. Cole Beasley, WR
48. Carter Coughlin, ILB
47. Darrian Beavers, ILB
46. Eric Gray, RB
45. Oshane Ximines, Edge
44. Casey Kreiter, LS
43. Cam Brown, ILB
42. Aaron Robinson, CB
41. Micah McFadden, ILB
I didn’t really know where to slot wide receiver Cole Beasley and running back James Robinson, both signed just a few days ago. It remains to be seen what roles they might play.
I could easily see Darrian Beavers, Eric Gray, and Aaron Robinson outplaying where they are currently slotted.
I already mentioned Cole Beasley, so I won’t go over that again. James Robinson is a former thousand-yard rusher, but he was basically a non-factor for the Jets after they traded for him a year ago, and the Patriots cut him just three months after signing him to a two-year, $8 million contract. The Patriots cited health concerns, and while Joe Schoen has expressed absolute faith in the Giants’ strength and conditioning department, we probably shouldn’t dismiss the concerns.
Personally, I might have Ximines down on the roster bubble. I think he, Habakkuk Baldonado, Tomon Fox, and Elerson Smith are all fighting to be the Giants’ fourth edge defender, and that depth chart could be pretty volatile over the course of camp.
The two players here who might suddenly be in the limelight are Darrian Beavers and Micah McFadden. I’m pretty sure both make the roster, and I think they’re going to be battling for a starting job – or at least a “starting” job – in the absence of Jarrad Davis. Like the tight end question, how the Giants use Beavers and McFadden could tell us quite a bit. Beavers is instinctive, powerful, and played well in preseason, while McFadden is a more athletic off-ball linebacker and was one of the most frequent blitzing linebackers in college football a year ago. He was benched twice last year, but his ability in space and blitzing could get him a fairly significant role on the defense if he’s upped his overall game.
Likewise with Aaron Robinson, he’s a physical, athletic man coverage corner, basically what Wink Martindale is looking for. He could realistically win the starting slot corner job… He just needs to stay healthy long enough to do it. Darnay Holmes was good within five (or so) yards of the line of scrimmage, but he had far too many penalties when he had to stick with receivers in coverage. He might be the incumbent for the job, but I think it’s very much an open competition.
40. Tyrod Taylor, QB
39. Jamie Gillan, P
38. Dane Belton, S
37. Lawrence Cager, TE
36. Gary Brightwell, RB
35. Jason Pinnock, S
34. Tyre Phillips, OL
33. Nick McCloud, DB
32. Sterling Shepard, WR
31. Wan’Dale Robinson, WR
Wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson might me slotted too high considering it is possible neither is ready to open the season.
The rest of these players figure to have at least part-time roles.
All of these guys are almost certain to make the roster unless something surprising happens. I might reshuffle them around a little bit, and drop Tyre Phillips down around 40 with Tyrod Taylor and Jamie Gillan based purely on the thought that if those guys are on the field, something probably went wrong. Your punter and backup QB can be some of the most important players on your roster, but that doesn’t mean you really want to see them with their helmets on.
But otherwise, these are all players who could play significant roles for the Giants in 2023. Dane Belton, Jason Pinnock, and Nick McCloud could all be competing for the second starting safety job. And even failing that, they’ll likely see the field quite a bit thanks to Wink Martindale’s use of subpackages. Lawrence Cager could create real opportunities for Mike Kafka in creating schemes, and potentially even turn the Giants’ 12-personnel package into a pseudo-10 personnel with Darren Waller.
The big question in this group is what could happen with Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepard. How much does Shepard have left after an injury-plagued career, and when will Robinson be ready to get on the field? How will that impact the WR depth chart and the other receivers we’ve talked about so far? Or even the numbers game on the roster as a whole?