clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants 53-man roster projection: Who’s in and who’s out?

Let’s discuss the possibilities as the Giants open training camp

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Kyle Howard

As the New York Giants begin training camp, let’s take a stab at projecting the Week 1 season-opening roster. There aren’t a lot of changes since the post-mandatory minicamp projection, but there are a few.

Let’s take a look.


Quarterback (2)

In: Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor
Out: Tommy DeVito

Who is the third quarterback? I still believe it isn’t going to be DeVito, the undrafted free agent out of Illinois. I think the Giants will look for an upgrade when teams trim their rosters at the end of the preseason. There is a chance, of course, that the Giants could keep a third quarterback on the 53-man roster to take advantage of the league’s newly reinstated emergency quarterback rule.

Running backs (4)

In: Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Eric Gray, Gary Brightwell
Out: Jashaun Corbin, James Robinson

My guess is that you will immediately wonder why the recently-signed James Robinson, a 25-year-old back with a 1,000-yard season and a 4.4 yards per carry average on his three-season NFL resume, is out.

It is because all indications are that Robinson is not the same player who gained nearly 1,800 yards rushing over two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville cut Robinson seven games into the 2022 season. The Jets picked him up, he averaged 2.9 yards per carry over four games and the Jets had seen enough. Our Rivka Boord, who also writes for Jet X, said:

“He tore his Achilles in 2021 and looked terrible last year. Jacksonville sat him and said there was something with his knee, but he insisted he was healthy. Jets got him for a conditional sixth-rounder that would turn into a fifth if he got 270 more rushing yards (this was before Week 8). Next thing you know, he’s on the injury report with a knee injury.

“They only played him in four games because it was clear he had nothing. There was no point in letting him get to the condition for the pick when he averaged 2.9 ypc.

“The fact that the Patriots signed him and released him so quickly tells you what you need to know. He’s not healthy.”

The New England Patriots signed him to a two-year, $4 million deal in March. They cut him in June.

Bernd Buchmasser of SB Nation’s Pats Pulpit said:

“They signed him to a classic “prove it” deal in free agency to see whether he still had it after his Achilles injury plus disappointing 2022. Based on the few open practices this spring, he didn’t.

“I don’t necessarily think it was getting on the practice field, but rather a) staying there and b) what he would look like. He indeed missed some time this spring, although I don’t know whether that was injury-related or not, and didn’t look as dynamic when available.”

Tight ends (3)

In: Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager,
Out: Tommy Sweeney, Chris Myarick, Ryan Jones

No change from the spring.

I would rather keep four tight ends. It bothers me a bit that Bellinger is the only inline blocking tight end making the roster in this prediction. The Giants, though, can always use an offensive lineman as a jumbo tight end if need be. I also think that the Giants could get one or two of the ousted tight ends to the practice squad, should they desire.

Wide receiver (7)

In: Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Jalin Hyatt, Cole Beasley, Collin Johnson, Jamison Crowder
Out: Wan’Dale Robinson (PUP), Sterling Shepard (PUP), Jeff Smith, Jaydon Mickens, Kalil Pimpleton, Makai Polk, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, David Sills

At the end of mandatory mini-camp, I projected Shepard to be ready for the start of the season and to make the 53-man roster. The signing of veteran slot receiver Cole Beasley has me thinking that the Giants are not sure about the availability for training camp or Week 1 of Shepard or Wan’Dale Robinson.

The last three spots came down to Johnson, Crowder, and Smith. There are valid reasons to keep all of them, and I might be wrong to leave Smith off the roster. Johnson offers a body type and skillset no other true Giants’ wide receiver has. He is also an experienced special teams player. Crowder is an accomplished receiver, and if he makes the roster is the favorite to be the punt returner. Here, I chose him over Smith, who would bring value with his speed and his ability on special teams coverage units.

Offensive line (9)

In: Andrew Thomas, Ben Bredeson, John Michael Schmitz, Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal, Josh Ezeudu, Tyre Phillips, Shane Lemieux, Marcus McKethan
Out: Matt Peart, Korey Cunningham, Jack Anderson, JC Hassenauer, Devery Hamilton, Wyatt Davis

No change from the spring.

The starting center/left guard combo might be uncertain, but Thomas, Bredeson, Schmitz, Glowinski, Neal, and Ezeudu are making the roster. I think Phillips is almost as certain to be part of the 53. I have Lemieux and McKethan getting the final two spots.

I know Lemieux has done virtually nothing for the past two seasons, but it was apparent a year ago that this coaching staff likes him. He has also done enough work at center that he is likely seen as a legitimate backup option there. McKethan is a Joe Schoen draft pick and a potential long-term successor to Glowinski. I don’t see the Giants risking losing him to waivers while trying to slide him to the practice squad.

This projection leaves only one true backup tackle, but Ezeudu can play out there in an emergency and one of Peart or Cunningham should get through waivers, allowing the Giants to stash an experienced tackle there. I do think it is possible either Peart or Cunningham makes the roster, I’m just not projecting that here.


Defensive line (5)

In: Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, A’Shawn Robinson, Ryder Anderson
Out: Vernon Butler, Kobe Smith, D.J. Davidson, Jordon Riley, Brandin Bryant

The tricky part here is determining health. A’Shawn Robinson, Davidson, and Butler did not practice in the spring. Over the past few weeks the Giants have added Smith and Bryant, most likely as training camp depth.

I made one switch from the spring here. Ryder Anderson is in, and Davidson is out.

Edge (5)

In: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Jihad Ward, Oshane Ximines, Tomon Fox
Out: Elerson Smith, Habakkuk Baldonado

No change from the spring.

As of now, it looks like the Giants are running it back with the same group they had a season ago. It won’t be a shock, though, if they add to this group before training camp or look to supplement it with a veteran player once roster cuts are made at the end of the preseason.

Inside linebacker (5)

In: Bobby Okereke, Darrian Beavers, Micah McFadden, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin
Out: Dyontae Johnson, Troy Brown

In my last projection I had Coughlin missing the 53-man roster. Jarrad Davis’ season-ending knee injury opens a spot for Coughlin, who has not found a role on defense since being drafted in the seventh round in 2020, but is a core special teams player.

Cornerback (5)

In: Adoree’ Jackson, Deonte Banks, Cor’Dale Flott, Aaron Robinson, Tre Hawkins III
Out: Darnay Holmes, Rodarius Williams, Zyon Gilbert, Gemon Green, Darren Evans, Amani Oruwariye

No change from the spring.

We have talked a lot this offseason about Darnay Holmes. If he loses the slot cornerback role to Flott, Robinson, or even Zyon Gilbert, I’m not sure the Giants keep him on the roster. I think they take the $2.7 million in cap savings (only $197,972 in dead money) and move on.

I think Holmes’ situation is similar to the one Darius Slayton was in last season. Which will the Giants see as more valuable — keeping Holmes on the roster, or gaining the cap space by releasing him?

I almost kept Oruwariye. He wasn’t good for the Detroit Lions in 2022 but flashed some ability in his first three seasons. In the end, though, I kept an extra wide receiver. One reason I am comfortable with just five cornerbacks is Nick McCloud’s versatility to move back to that spot if needed.

Safety (5)

In: Xavier McKinney, Nick McCloud, Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton, Bobby McCain
Out: Gervarrious Owens, Trenton Thompson, Alex Cook

No change from the spring.

I think it is possible that Owens, the Giants’ seventh-round pick, takes a spot from the veteran McCain. Still, Pinnock, Belton, and McCloud are all inexperienced safeties — with McCloud converting to the position this season. Not keeping an experienced player like McCain, at least for depth, would be a risk. Owens can likely pass through to the practice squad.


In: PK Graham Gano, P Jamie Gillan, LS Casey Kreiter
Out: LS Cam Lyons

No surprises here.

Your thoughts, Giants fans?