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Position-by-position analysis of Giants’ roster before final preseason game

What things look like as cut down day looms

Carolina Panthers v New York Giants Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The New York Giants have a final preseason game to play Saturday night at MetLife Stadium against the New York Jets. After that, players on the 90-man roster will wait to find out who will make the initial 53-man roster, which has to be set by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29.

Before all that happens, and before we post a 53-man roster projection following Saturday’s game, let’s analyze the roster position-by-position.



Has Tommy DeVito, an undrafted free agent out of Syracuse and Illinois, done enough to earn a spot on the practice squad? A good performance Saturday against the Jets will help his case. DeVito has completed 24 of 35 passes (68.8%) for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception in two preseason games.

I think the Giants will take a hard look at the waiver wire once cuts are made, but DeVito has shown enough that the Giants might choose to continue working with him.

Running back

Will the Giants keep three running backs or four on the 53-man roster? If they keep four, will the final spot go to incumbent Gary Brightwell or 2022 practice squad player Jashaun Corbin? Former Jacksonville Jaguar and New York Jet James Robinson is also on the roster but has shown nothing this summer to earn a spot.

That fourth spot likely comes down to special teams. Brightwell was the Giants’ kickoff returner a year ago and is a quality, valuable special teams player. He has been out for a couple of weeks with a leg injury, giving Corbin extra reps. Can Corbin add enough value on special teams to take that spot from Brightwell? That’s something to watch on Saturday.

Tight end

Really not much mystery here, other than thinking good thoughts for the long-term health of Tommy Sweeney, who left practice Wednesday after suffering a ‘medical event.’ The Giants seem likely to keep three tight ends, with one on the practice squad. Sweeney’s health could impact who that might be.

Wide receiver

So much intrigue here. That starts with the status of Wan’Dale Robinson. GM Joe Schoen said a couple of weeks ago that Robinson would be coming off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list soon, but that hasn’t happened yet. That leads to the question of whether or not he will come off the list at all before the start of the season.

What about Sterling Shepard? The Giants have managed his workload, giving him several veteran rest days as he tries to come back from a torn Achilles and a torn ACL the past two seasons. When he has been on the field, Shepard has been good. He has been moving well, making plays, and talking a fair amount of trash to defensive backs. He isn’t going to be easy to cut.

Can undrafted free agent Bryce Ford-Wheaton steal a roster spot? Is time running out for Collin Johnson and David Sills? Is there space for a quality veteran like Jamison Crowder?

Offensive line

We have to start with the plan at guard. The rotation between Mark Glowinski, Ben Bredeson, and Joshua Ezeudu — changing every two snaps on Tuesday and Wednesday — leaves whatever the Giants’ plan is at those spots as clear as mud. Two players will start. One will be a reserve. The best guess is that Glowinski starts at right guard. Between Bredeson and Ezeudu, I’m not sure what the Giants are thinking. They have done a great job making sure we can’t figure it out.

Beyond that, who gets the remaining backup spots? Tyre Phillips is almost certain to get one. Do the Giants dare try to pass 2022 fifth-round pick Marcus McKethan through waivers? Is Matt Peart safe? Shane Lemieux? Jack Anderson? Is Julie’n Davenport just a camp body, or a serious contender for a spot?


Defensive line

We have not seen much of veterans Rakeem Nunez-Roches and A’Shawn Robinson, signed to be the primary backups for Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, this summer. Nunez-Roches has dealt with a car accident that caused a concussion, and a groin injury. Robinson is working back from meniscus surgery. We almost certainly won’t see them against the Jets. The Giants will just work to make sure both are ready for the season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

The question at this position is how the Giants will handle youngsters Jordon Riley, D.J. Davidson, and Ryder Anderson.

Riley, a seventh-round pick, has been impressive and seems like a lock to make the roster. The Giants drafted Davidson in the fifth round a year ago, and he was doing a decent job before tearing his ACL. Could the Giants get Davidson through waivers and onto the practice squad? We might find out.

Anderson is in a tricky situation. He suffered a triceps injury early in training camp. He could be headed to short-term IR, giving him at least the first four weeks of the season to continue rehabbing. For the Giants to be able to bring Anderson back this season they first have to put him on the 53-man roster. If they IR him before setting the initial 53-man roster, Anderson would be lost for the entire season.

Inside linebacker

Micah McFadden appears to have won the starting job next to Bobby Okereke, beating out Darrian Beavers. Carter Coughlin, a quality special teams player, probably sticks as a reserve.

The question here is whether Cam Brown, another valuable special teams player, makes the roster. Brown has never developed into a useful defensive player, and he has missed some time this summer with an injury.

The Giants recently worked out veteran Anthony Barr. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Brown’s spot ultimately went to Barr or someone else who becomes available on the waiver wire next week.

Of course the Giants’ Thursday morning trade for Isaiah Simmons likely impacts the depth chart of linebacker, edge, and cornerback.

Edge defender

The depth spots here are still in question. Veteran Jihad Ward is safe. Second-year player Tomon Fox, a former undrafted free agent, is probably also safe. The last spot would likely be between Oshane Ximines and Tashawn Bower.

Whichever one wins it should not go place a down payment on a house in New Jersey. This is a spot where the Giants could use an upgrade, and I would expect them to be looking for one on the waiver wire.


Four spots — Adoree’ Jackson, Deonte Banks, Tre Hawkins III, Cor’Dale Flott — are set. Beyond that? Aaron Robinson remains on PUP, and no one has stood out. Darnay Holmes might make the team by default. Holmes, though, has lost the slot cornerback job thanks to Hawkins’ rise, won’t be the kick or punt returner, and carries an untenable $2.9 million cap hit for a backup slot cornerback. Holmes’ performance has been up and down this summer, losing far too many reps to receivers who won’t make the roster.

This is another spot where the Giants could be seeking help on the waiver wire.


Jason Pinnock has earned the starting spot next to Xavier McKinney. Dane Belton is likely the third safety. Nick McCloud, who can play all over the secondary and is a quality special teams player, should make the roster despite missing the last couple of weeks with an injury.

The intrigue at safety surrounds rookie seventh-round pick Gervarrius Owens and veteran Bobby McCain. Ultimately, Owens might have an advantage because of special teams’ potential. McCain has not played regularly on special teams since 2017, and has only played six special teams snaps over the past three seasons.