An Updated, but Still Way Too-early 53-man New York Giants Roster Projection

Here’s an updated, way-too-early guess at the New York Giants 53-man roster.

Last month I put together a guess at the New York Giants’ 53-man roster. While there is still a long way to go and the games will help clarify some question marks, I thought I’d update my projections ahead of the start of the preseason games.

Quarterbacks: 3

In: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Davis Webb
Out: Josh Johnson
Practice Squad: None
Changes: None

Geno Smith and Josh Johnson started out even in training camp, and that, to me is a problem. Why? Johnson, remember, took all his reps in the spring when Smith was rehabbing and still hasn’t been able to pull away from Smith. meanwhile, the former Jets signal caller has strung together some nice practices these last few days.


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Running Backs: 4

In: Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman
Out: Khalid Abdullah, Shaun Draughn, Jacob Huesman, Shane Smith
Practice Squad: Shane Smith
Changes: None

I’m still not convinced the Giants will carry a pure fullback on this roster, not so long as Rhett Ellison is healthy.  And I’m not sure what is going on with Shaun Draughn (ankle/PUP) but I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts the season on the inactive PUP list at this rate.

Tight Ends: 4

In: Rhett Ellison, Evan Engram, Jerrell Adams, Matt LaCosse
Out: Will Tye, Colin Thompson
Practice Squad: Colin Thompson
Changes: None

Engram has impressed with his blocking–he really does get in there and give it a go.

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I had concern coming into this camp with Ellison’s calf injury that kept him on the side during the spring, but he appears to have recovered nicely from that.

Receivers: 6

In: Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Tavarres King, Dwayne Harris, Darius Powe
Out: Keeon Johnson, Roger Lewis, Jerome Lane, Kevin Norwood, Kevin Snead, Travis Rudolph
Practice Squad: Travis Rudolph, Jerome Lane
Changes: None

I’m still tempted to swap out Dwayne Harris for Travis Rudolph because even with Harris healthy, Rudolph has been getting first-team reps in the slot while Sterling Shepard recovers from a sprained ankle. I might ultimately make that switch when I make my final roster prediction, but I just cant’ do it now until I see how Rudolph holds up in a game.

Offensive Line: 9

In: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, Bobby Hart, Brett Jones, D.J. Fluker, Adam Bisnowaty, Adam Gettis
Out: Michael Bowie, Chad Wheeler, Jessamen Dunker, Jon Halapio
Practice Squad: Chad Wheeler
Changes: Removed Jessamen Dunker from practice squad due to lingering injury

In case you were wondering, I was the one who asked Ben McAdoo about the two young offensive tackles after Tuesday’s practice.

“They are two scrappy, young guys,” McAdoo said. “Wheeler is a natural player out there; he moves his feet very easily. Bisnowaty is a physical player. He works hard in the run game. He needs to improve his techniques in the passing game.”

Bisnowaty has been a little too grabby at times not to mention playing too high with his pad level. Truthfully, I haven’t been ultra impressed by Wheeler, who I think is just as raw, but what I like about both young tackles is they’re feisty and both seem to be making baby steps toward improvement.

Defensive Ends: 5

In: Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Romeo Okwara, Devin Taylor, Avery  Moss,
Out: Owa Odighizuwa , Kerry Wynn, Jordan Williams, Evan Schwan
Practice Squad: Evan Schwan
Changes: Owa Odighizqua 

My gut feeling about Owa Odighizuwa not returning was incorrect. I still think he has an upward climb to make the roster.

I have also moved Romeo Okwara to the third defensive end spot. Devin Taylor, who I penciled in there in my first projection, has been injured this camp, only recently returning to work.

Okwara, who has received first-team snaps, is playing a lot quicker and with more confidence to where I think he could very well nail down that third defensive end spot coming out of camp.

Defensive Tackles: 4

In: Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, Robert Thomas, Jay Bromley
Out: Corbin Bryant, Jarron Jones, Josh Banks
Practice Squad: None
Changes: Removed Jarron Jones from this list since he’s working with the offensive line (I still think he’s a cut, by the way). 

The vacant starting job next to Damon Harrison is boiling down to Jay Bromley and Dalvin Tomlinson. Bromley has really looked dialed in on his responsibilities, but Tomlinson’s stock has started to rise.

Linebackers: 6

In: Devon Kennard, B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, Mark Herzlich, J.T. Thomas
Out: Stansly Maponga, Curtis Grant, Calvin Munson, Deontae Skinner, Eric Pinkins
PUP: J.T. Thomas
Practice Squad: Calvin Munson
Changes: Pinkins stays, Thomas goes to PUP

I wasn’t surprised that J.T. Thomas III began training camp on the PUP list. I also won’t be surprised if he starts the season there as well.

With Thomas out of the picture, there is now room for Eric Pinkins, a linebacker/safety who is just a monster on special teams.

Safeties: 4

In:  Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams, Nat Berhe
Out:  Duke Ihenacho, Ryan Murphy, Trey Robinson
Practice Squad: None
Changes: Removed Jadar Johnson, who retired at the start of camp.

No changes to my inital depth chart– I still have Darian Thompson locked in to win the starting free safety job ahead of Andrew Adams.

With Jadar Johnson having retired and Nat Berhe having cranked up his showing, I think barring injury that he fills that fourth spot.

Corners: 5

In: Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Donte Deayon, Michael Hunter
Out: Valentino Blake, Nigel Tribune, DaShaun Amos, Mykkele Thompson
Practice Squad: Nigel Tribune
Changes: Donte Deayon stays; Mykkele Thompson goes

In my initial prediction, I wrote, “If Thompson has another injury setback, that would open the door for Deayon, another young player I really like.”

Well, Thompson is again dealing with something–he was sidelined during Tuesday’s practice. I’m not sure how long he’ll be out, but the fact that he keeps having to miss time coupled with the fact that the experiment with him as the slot cornerback seems to be over doesn’t exactly bode well for his chances.

Specialists: 3

In: LS Zak DeOssie, K Aldrick Rosas, P Brad Wing
Out: Mike Nugent
Practice Squad: N/A
Changes: Mike Nugent added to the training camp roster

The Giants finally brought in competition for Aldrick Rosas in the form of veteran Mike Nugent. While historically the Giants have gone with experienced kickers, Rosas has matched Nugent field goal attempt for field goal attempt so far in camp.

What’s going to separate these two is kickoffs, which as I’ve written in the past, was a problem for the team last year.