The New York Giants must set its initial 53-man roster by 4 pm ET on Tuesday. This will be my final 53 man roster projection.
In all honesty, this is one I don’t undertake with great confidence. It’s never easy to predict what a new coach will do, and with a new coach (Brian Daboll) and GM (Joe Schoen) you can absolutely expect some roster surprises.
The Giants’ injury situation, especially along the offensive line and at edge defender, also complicates matters.
Starter: Daniel Jones
Reservations: Tyrod Taylor, Davis Webb
Outside: No one
I have Webb making the roster because he deserves to be on it. However, carrying three quarterbacks is a luxury because the #3 (Webb) will be inactive as long as the guys in front of him are healthy. Of course, this is complicated right now because we don’t know the extent of the injury that Taylor suffered on Sunday.
The Giants may have to pass Webb through waivers and sign him to the practice squad due to needs elsewhere. I’m not sure they would be able to do that.
Starter: Saquon Barkley
Reservations: Matt Breida, Antonio Williams, Jashaun Corbin
Outside: Gary Brightwell (practice squad), Sandro Platzgummer (practice squad)
I might be wrong here, but right from the start Corbin (rookie undrafted free agent) got more chances than Brightwell, a 2021 sixth round pick. Brightwell played in the first half Sunday and Corbin in the second, but Corbin was more of an asset productive with his opportunities.
tight end (3)
Starter: Daniel Bellinger
Reservations: Chris Myarick, Tanner Hudson
Outside: Austin Allen (practice squad)
When Bellinger left Sunday’s game, it was Hudson who stepped in. I think the Giants keep Myarick and try to get Allen to the practice squad. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they add a tight end after Tuesday’s cuts. When I spoke with Myarick on Sunday, he said he will prepare as if he will be with the team when they practice on Tuesday. We will see
Wide receiver (6)
Beginners: Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson
Reservations: Sterling Shepard, David Sills, Richie James
Outside: CJ Board, Darius Slayton, Keelan Doss, Jaylon Moore (practice squad), Travis Toivonen, Alex Bachman, (practice squad)
I had a hard time leaving Board and Bachman from the 53. Board is a serviceable NFL player, but he and James have about the same skill set. James, I think, is slightly better as both a receiver and a returner.
Darius Slayton? He worked exclusively with the second and third teams. One last time — I just don’t see how it’s financially feasible to keep Slayton, who won’t help on special teams, as essentially a No. 6 or No. 7 receiver. Slayton said Sunday that it wouldn’t surprise him to be on. the roster of a different team after Tuesday.
Bachmann? I’d like to keep him on the 53. I can’t justify the seventh wide receiver, though, and I think James is the kick and punt returner.
Offensive line (9)
Beginners: Andrew Thomas (LT), Shane Lemieux (LG), Jon Feliciano (C), Mark Glowinski (RG), Evan Neal (RT)
Reservations: Joshua Ezeudu, Ben Bredeson, Jamil Douglas, Devery Hamilton
Outside: Roy Mbaeteka (practice squad), Garrett McGhin, Josh Rivas, Eric Smith, Will Holden, Max Garcia
Don’t be surprised here if Lemieux goes on injured reserve after the initial 53-man roster is finalized, and Garcia is brought back. Or, someone gets caught after final cuts are made. Hamilton has had a terrific summer and has guard flexibility, but if a proven swing tackle gets loose, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants make a move there as well.
Defensive line (5)
Beginners: Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence
Reservations: DJ Davidson, Jalyn Holmes, Ryder Anderson
Outside: David Moa, Nick Williams, Justin Ellis
Anderson, an undrafted free agent out of Indiana, had a good summer. When I looked at the picks here, I kept thinking about the Giants’ decision to cut Andrew Adams, a young veteran player, to get younger. I think that could be bad news for veterans Nick Williams and Justin Ellis.
Beginners: Azeez Ojulari, Kayvon Thibodeaux
Reservations: Jihad Ward, Elerson Smith, Oshane Ximines
Outside: Quincy Roche, Tomon Fox (practice squad)
Honestly, I throw darts when it comes to the spots behind Ojulari, Thibodeaux and Ward. We haven’t seen Smith in weeks and he could be one of those players who makes the roster and is then sent immediately to IR, opening up a roster spot for one of the players released.
I’m not sure why, but Ximines. At some point I have to believe what I see and it seems this staff prefers Ximines over Roche. When I spoke to him on Sunday eveningRoche seemed to realize that he might be looking for a new opportunity soon.
As for Fox, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Giants decide to go with the rookie instead of Ximines or Roche. I guess, though, they’re trying to get him to the practice squad.
Inside linebacker (5)
Beginners: Blake Martinez, Tae Crowder
Reservations: Micah McFadden, Austin Calitro, Cam Brown
Outside: Carter Coughlin (practice squad)
The injury of the Darrian Beavers opened a spot. At some point, you have to reward performance and the journeyman Calitro equally outplayed Coughlin this summer. Brown sticks because he is arguably the best special teams player the Giants have.
Beginners: Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson, Darnay Holmes
Reservations: Olaijah Griffin, Cor’Dale Flott, Darren Evans
Outside: Rodarius Williams, Khalil Dorsey, Harrison Hand, Zyon Gilbert (practice squad)
Before he was torched for a 29-yard touchdown by Denzel Mims on Sunday, I thought Mano would make the list. Evans, undrafted out of LSU, has been far from perfect this summer, but he’s competitive, has the length Wink Martindale likes (6’2¼) and has some upside. Griffin played just eight snaps on Sunday, and my guess is that’s because the Giants have already made their decision on him. This is another position I could see the Giants filling out once cuts are made.
Beginners: Xavier McKinney, Julian Love
Reservations: Dane Belton, Nate Meadors
Outside: Trenton Thompson (practice squad), Yusuf Corker (practice squad)
I went into Sunday thinking the Giants would keep Thompson, a UDFA, instead of Meadors. After Sunday’s 12 tackle, nullified interception performance where he made no obvious mistakes, I think Meadors deserves it. Furthermore, even though he is in his fourth NFL season, the 25-year-old Meadors is actually younger than the 26-year-old Thompson. I think Thompson and Corker could land on the practice squad.
Special teams (3)
Provider: Jamie Gillan
Placekicker: Graham Gano
Long-snapper: Casey Kreiter
Outside: PK Ryan Santoso