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New York Giants roster rankings: Nos. 30-1

Who’s No. 1?

Houston Texans v New York Giants
Darius Slayton
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

We have reached the final installment of our three-part New York Giants roster rankings, the top 30 players. Let’s get to it.


30. Jalin Hyatt, WR
29. Matt Breida, RB
28. Joshua Ezeudu, OL
27. Bobby McCain, S
26. Cor’Dale Flott, CB
25. Darnay Holmes, CB
24. Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DT
23. Jihad Ward, Edge
22. A’Shawn Robinson, DT
21. John Michael Schmitz, C

The most interesting name on this list might be Darnay Holmes. I have been steadfast in saying I don’t believe Holmes is making the 53-man roster, as I think the Giants will feel they need the $2.7 million in cap savings they would get from cutting him more than they need the player.

So, why is he here? Simply because he has been the team’s primary slot cornerback for three seasons.

Rookies John Michael Schmitz (21) and Jalin Hyatt (30) are also in this grouping. Schmitz just missed the top 20, with several experienced players getting the nod over him. Hyatt is at 30 for now because I am not certain how big his role will be at the beginning of the season.

Veteran free agent acquisitions Bobby McCain, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, and A’Shawn Robinson are also here.

Chris’ thoughts

Bobby McCain and Darnay Holmes are probably the two who have the most potential to fall out of this group. Nick McCloud or Dane Belton could unseat McCain, while Cor’Dale Flott or Aaron Robinson could bump Holmes right off the roster. Those two guys, McCain and Holmes, could be starters or cut by the end of training camp, so they’re in a fight for their jobs.

We could also see Josh Ezeudu rocket up the rankings if he’s able to unseat Ben Bredeson or Mark Glowinski for a starting guard job.

And in a final note from this section, Ed never actually explained to me just how he was ranking the roster – whether it’s by ability, importance to the team, or some combination of the two. But I would argue that John Michael Schmitz should be in the top half of the next group (at least). I firmly believe that center is the second most important position on the OL (behind the OT spots), and just behind the four “cornerstone” positions (OT, EDGE, CB, and WR) in roster building. The Giants have gone too long without a natural center, and they need Schmitz to play well, and relatively soon.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The rankings are a combination. Without so much as a training camp practice in pads having been held, I couldn’t put Schmitz above players who have started a significant number of games. If he plays well, he will move up.]


20. Graham Gano, PK
19. Ben Bredeson, G
18. Evan Neal, OT
17. Parris Campbell, WR
16. Daniel Bellinger, TE
15. Mark Glowinski, G
14. Azeez Ojulari, Edge
13. Tae Banks, CB
12. Isaiah Hodgins, WR
11. Xavier McKinney, S

Now we are into the heavy hitters on the roster.

Perhaps I have Ben Bredeson and Parris Campbell ranked too high, but entering training camp I think both begin the season as starters.

Let’s hope that Evan Neal plays well enough to not only justify being ranked 18th, but to move up the list.

Tae Banks is at No. 13, which might be a touch high for someone who has not played an NFL snap. The first-round pick is, though, a key player for the 2023 Giants.

Xavier McKinney is outside the top 10. He has something to prove after last season.

Chris’ thoughts

This is where I’d do a three-way shuffle and move John Michael Schmitz up to 19th, Ben Bredeson up to 15th, and Glowinski down into the 20s.

Bredeson was not a problem for the Giants’ offensive line a year ago, and has the ability to be a perfectly capable guard and back up the center position. Glowinski, on the other hand, was disappointing for a player who was brought in to stabilize the right side next to a rookie tackle. He struggled pretty consistently and appeared overmatched too often. I mentioned below that Ezeudu could climb up the rankings if he wins a starting job, and Glowinski could be vulnerable.


10. Darius Slayton, WR
9. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge
8. Bobby Okereke, ILB
7. Adoree’ Jackson, CB
6. Darren Waller, TE
5. Leonard Williams, DT
4. Andrew Thomas, OT
3. Dexter Lawrence, DT
2. Saquon Barkley, RB
1. Daniel Jones, QB

Before I get to why I have Daniel Jones at No. 1 instead of Saquon Barkley, a couple of thoughts on others in the top 10.

I had to give props to Darius Slayton, who has led the Giants in receiving yards in three of his four seasons with the team.

I honestly could have put the grouping of Slayton, McKinney, Isaiah Hodgins, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Bobby Okereke in any order.

Now, as for Jones and Barkley. Jones, whether or not some of you are happy about it, is the franchise quarterback and is now paid that way. I recognize that Barkley is the more talented player, but if you have paid attention to my work over the years you know that I have consistently said quarterback is more important than any other position.

Thus, Jones is the Giants’ most important player.

Chris’ thoughts

There’s another three-way shuffle I’d do here. Personally, I’d drop Darius Slayton down into the mid-teens, bump Parris Campbell up to 11, and then Isaiah Hodgins up to Slayton’s spot.

I get Ed wanting to give Slayton props for his production over the years. However, he’d have way more production if he did a better job of (to paraphrase Ed) catching the damn ball. Slayton has had a drop rate of 8.4 percent over the last three years, 10.1 percent and 9.9 percent in 2021 and 2022. His nine drops were a full third of the Giants’ 27 on the season. Isaiah Hodgins, meanwhile, saw just 42 targets to Slayton’s 71, and started five games to Slayton’s 11. However, Hodgins had 48 catches to Slayton’s 46, and four touchdowns to Slayton’s two.

In fact, Hodgins was one of the most reliable receivers in the NFL last year and his 77.08 percent catch rate was just behind JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 77.23 for fourth among all NFL WRs (with at least 45 catches). He didn’t drop a single pass while his 4 touchdowns in 48 catches tied the team lead and Daniel Jones had a 123.3 passer rating when targeting him. While we can debate whether Hodgins would be the “number one” receiver on other teams, he’ll enter the season as the Giants’ No.1.

As for Campbell, he’s opening camp as the Giants’ slot receiver and that’s an important position in the offense (or at least it was last year). Speaking of catch rate, Richie James lead the NFL in catch rate above expected per NFL NextGenStats, making the position a reliable option for Daniel Jones. 26 percent of Jones’ passes were to the slot, split between James, Sterling Shepard, and Wan’Dale Robinson (that doesn’t count any passes that went to a tight end or running back who were motioned to the slot). With that in mind, the team will need Campbell to be an efficient receiver to keep the offense moving.