Folks, the best time of year is officially upon us. The New York Giants have opened up training camp and the first practice is tomorrow! While football isn’t fully back, it’s nice to know that it’s just around the corner with the Giants first preseason game being just 2 weeks away for the Giants and the Hall of Fame game taking place in just one week.
So now’s the time for a half-assed 53-man roster prediction for the Giants. Each and every year these blogs get a ton of hits and there’s a ton of interest in them. There will always be that one bubble player that fans fall in love with every season who either barely makes the team or gets cut. If they make the team they normally play special teams for a season or two before fading into oblivion but it’s always an exciting part of every preseason.
So let’s get into it. Here’s my training camp edition of my 53 man roster prediction.
Quarterbacks (3): Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, Alex Tanney
The first two on this list are mortal locks. In regards to the battle for the third spot, I think the Giants will end up keeping 3 simply because Jones is a rookie and I think Alex Tanney will win the job since he’s more seasoned. It seems like Kyle Lauletta has fallen out of favor with the Giants coaches and quite frankly he isn’t very good. This is why you should never take a QB with a day 3 selection under any circumstance.
Running Backs (4): Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Elijah Penny, Rod Smith
Once again, Saquon Barkley is a mortal lock. Wayne Gallman is a very solid backup and if not for Barkley being the best running back in the league would likely be a solid starter for us or some other team. Elijah Penny is a good option at fullback who can also run the ball and the Giants normally like to keep one on the roster. Rod Smith is a solid 3rd option to run the ball if needed and he can provide good depth in case of injury.
This leaves out Paul Perkins who has the vision of Stevie Wonder when running the football and Jonathan Hillman who is the annual running back who played some college ball at Rutgers that everyone will like in camp but he ends up being cut.
Wide Receiver (6): Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Corey Coleman, Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Darius Slayton
I have a feeling that Giants fans everywhere are going to fall in love with Darius Slayton this preseason. He’s a speed demon who can stretch out a defense but his weakness is catching the football. That’s a pretty big weakness to have. Still, he should make the 53 man roster since he was a draft pick, after all. Russell Shepard makes the team because he is a great special teamer.
The most notable guy this roster leaves out is Bennie Fowler who was on the roster for a bit last season.
Tight Ends (4): Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, CJ Conrad, Scott Simonson
Once again, the first two guys on this list are locks. Undrafted Free Agent CJ Conrad has burst onto the scene this offseason during minicamp and been solid. Many people around the team think that he can be impactful this season. The last man on my roster here is Scott Simonson but it’s honestly a coin flip between him and Garrett Dickerson. I’m giving the nod to Simonson because he played under Gettleman in Carolina and he played in all 16 games last season.
Offensive Line (9): Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Kevin Zeitler, Mike Remmers, Spencer Pulley, Chad Wheeler, George Asafo-Adjei, Waiver wire pickup/free agency add
The first six guys on this list should be automatic. The only true battle on the offensive line for a spot in the starting lineup is Spencer Pulley vs Jon Halapio at Center. That being said, they both possess the ability to play Guard. If there are any injuries along the interior of the offensive line whoever loses the starting job can easily step into one of those positions and be serviceable.
Unfortunately due to a lack of really any depth on the offensive line, human traffic cone Chad Wheeler will likely make this roster. He’s really, really bad even for a backup. I also have seventh round pick George Asafo-Adjei who’s a Bronx native making it onto the 53. The last position will likely be another interior lineman that gets claimed off of waivers. Last year Dave Gettleman made 6 waiver claims after the initial 53 man roster was released and this would be a prime spot to use one.
Defensive Line (5): BJ Hill, Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson, RJ Mcintosh, Olson Pierre
The starting three defensive linemen in the Giants 3-4 system in BJ Hill, Dexter Lawrence, and Dalvin Tomlinson should actually be pretty solid. After that it’s a bit of a drop off which is natural. Former 5th round pick RJ Mcintosh is unproven in limited action last season so he’s likely to stick around and Olson Pierre played on the Cardinals which basically means that he has to make the team because of our defensive coordinator coaching there in the past. The only notable name this projection leaves out is 7th round pick Chris Slayton who will likely be on the practice squad.
EDGE (4): Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines, Kareem Martin
Oh boy this is a tough look. These are likely the four men who will be responsible for making life a living hell for the opposing QBs. The Giants pass rushers used to be feared. Back in my day we had guys like Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora tormenting quarterbacks. Now there’s a ton of pressure on second year player Lorenzo Carter to produce at a high level on the left side with Markus Golden starting at the right side basically by default. You can also pencil in Oshane Ximines to take some snaps during passing downs. This is undoubtedly the weakest unit on our roster but there is some potential if literally everything goes right.
Interior Linebackers (5): Alec Ogletree, BJ Goodson, Ryan Connelly, Tae Davis, Nathan Stupar
I have the Giants going with five interior linebackers since the position is thin and I think the Giants are going to keep an influx of defensive backs this season who can contribute on special teams (more on that later). Alec Ogletree is really the only guaranteed starter this season. Tae Davis and BJ Goodson could very well start alongside Ogletree this fall. Ryan Connelly has been impressive in camp but he’s raw and will likely play special teams to start. I have Nathan Stupar making the team here because he can contribute on special teams.
Cornerbacks (6): Janoris Jenkins, Deandre Baker, Sam Beal, Grant Haley, Julian Love, Corey Ballentine
The Giants have a lot of depth at cornerback for the first time in a long time. Janoris Jenkins is the only lock to start and after that it appears to be anyone’s guess. One would think that first round pick Deandre Baker is going to get his opportunity to get playing time this season. Sam Beal should see some time as well. Grant Haley and Julian Love are projected to battle it out for the nickel slot. Corey Ballentine will likely have to prove his worth on special teams to stick around but I think the Giants will go extremely heavy on this position this year because they’re young and inexperienced.
Safeties (4): Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, Michael Thomas, Sean Chandler
The first three guys on this list are virtual locks. Peppers and Bethea project to be the starters with Michael Thomas mixing in and also playing a significant role on special teams. Sean Chandler should beat out Kamrin Moore because Kamrin Moore is a piece of shit who (allegedly) beats women. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they looked to the waiver wire and/or free agency for extra help at this position.
Special Teams (3): Aldrick Rosas (K), Riley Dixon (P), Zak DeOssie (LS)
Not much to say here except I’d be shocked if all three of these guys didn’t make this team.