Whole Nine Sports

Predicting the New York Giants 53-Man Roster

New York Giants
Chris King
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Ah, the New York Giants; if you’re a fan of the Giants, you know they’ve played with your emotions for quite some time. If you’re not a Giants fan, you probably sat back and enjoyed the dumpster fire PR situation. It’s been a wave of not knowing who will be on the field any given week, let alone opening day. Odell Beckham Jr. was traded, that didn’t go over well, Landon Collins left to sign with a division rival, that didn’t go over well, and Daniel Jones was drafted with the 6th pick overall, and that REALLY didn’t go over well.

The Giants are a rebuilding team, let’s not get confused. I also want to point out that this prediction is after just two preseason games, a number of things can happen between now and the Sunday night before week one.

If you’re a die-hard fan like myself, you don’t want to wait another few weeks, you want to deduce who will be there week one as soon as possible.

The fear of not knowing is very real; I’m scared, you may be scared too, so let’s hold hands, sing kumbaya and figure this thing out together.

Quarterback

Eli Manning Daniel Jones

Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

Constructing a developing roster isn’t easy, the Giants don’t exactly have cornerstone guys, besides Barkley that is. With the rebuild in effect, I think it would be a smart move to stick with only two quarterbacks to allow some depth at other position groups. Last year they kept four quarterbacks on the roster for opening day… That would be a huge mistake if it was done again this year. Eli has never missed a game, and Jones is looking like he will, at the very least, be a competent NFL starter. No need to keep a guy like Kyle Lauletta or Alex Tanney around being as though they have no business ever starting a game.

Running Back

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Elijaah Penny, Rod Smith, Paul Perkins

For the running back position, we know what time it is…time to give Barkley 95% of the work because he is that dude. Wayne Gallman has been relatively unimpressive, but for now he will fill the role of scat-back. Rod Smith has been efficient and could potentially take some of the already limited snaps from Gallman. Paul Perkins has looked solid and in better condition coming off a year where he did not play due to injury, but don’t expect him to get many snaps on offense, he will be a special teams guy. Elijhaa Penny will do is thing as an athletic battering ram, occasionally catch a pass. Penny’s athleticism is extremely underrated, but it is difficult to justify using him as a runner or pass catcher while having the best back in football on your team.

Wide Receiver

Sterling Shepard

Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, TJ Jones, Brittan Golden

The wide receiver group is pretty muddy. Tate will be there the second his suspension is over, but in the meantime Shepard, Latimer, Fowler are locks to make it. I think TJ Jones and Russell Shepard also make it, but it is very possible that one of them will be moved to the practice squad to make room for Tate. Brittan Golden makes it purely for his punt return ability. Golden is a better returner than Jones, and Jabrill Peppers should put his entire focus on defense and not worry about being a returner.

Tight End

Evan Engram

Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Scott Simonson, CJ Conrad

At tight end, every Giants fan knows Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison are locks to make the team, they’ve both been very involved in the offense in their own way. Engram as a dynamic receiver and Ellison as a blocking specialist who can catch a pass when needed. Scott Simonson should never have a designed play call for him to catch a pass, he should only be on the field as a secondary blocking tight end next to Ellison. Simonson is a hard working, average blocker; but let’s call a spade a spade, he’s a depth guy. CJ Conrad on the other hand is a much more interesting specimen. He was diagnosed with a heart condition prior to the draft and that put a number of teams off, so he got a second opinion and he was cleared to play. The Giants made him a priority free agent and it is not hard to see why. Conrad has sneaky athleticism with reliable hands, but is rough around the edges as a blocker, which he will have to do. Only question I have left is, “Will they give Conrad a chance?”

Offensive Line

Nate Solder

Nate Solder, Mike Remmers, Chad Wheeler, Brian Mihalik, Kevin Zeitler, Will Hernandez, Evan Brown, Jon Halapio, Spencer Pulley

On the offensive line, there are quite a few guys who are sure fire locks to make the roster. Nate Solder, Mike Remmers, Kevin Zeitler, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Spencer Puller and Chad Wheeler are locked in for the 53 man roster. All are starters, or have starting experience in the system between now and last year. Brian Mihalik and Evan Brown also have some limited experience with the Giants, but are depth guys at most, if either of them are starting at any point in 2019 there are some serious problems.

Defensive Line

Dalvin Tomlinson

BJ Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, RJ McIntosh, Olsen Pierre

Defensive line, like the offensive line is pretty straight forward, most casual Giants fans will know who is making the cut. BJ Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence will be forming a 970 pound wall of run stopping pain. RJ McIntosh is a depth guy, with some upside. He was hurt nearly all of last year, and with the aforementioned great wall of pain way ahead of him on the depth chart, it is difficult to see him getting much opportunity. Olsen Pierre was brought in for his familiarity with defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s scheme, but Pierre is in the same boat as McIntosh. Hill, Tomlinson and Lawrence will dominate snaps on the defensive interior.

Linebacker

Alec Ogletree

Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines, Ryan Connelly, Alec Ogletree, Kareem Martin, Tae Davis, BJ Goodson, Jonathan Anderson

The linebacking core is the most confusing group to me. There are some locks in this group, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden and Oshane Ximines are guys who the coaching staff and fan base are very high on. Carter and Ximines as a breakout stars, and Golden as a comeback veteran.  Ryan Connelly and Tae Davis look solid on the interior, so they’re also pretty safe. Kareem Martin and Alec Ogletree should also make the team, but I would not be surprised if one of them is cut in the latter stages of roster construction. Closing out the group is BJ Goodson and Jonathan Anderson; Goodson makes the roster pushing out Nate Stupar has looked unimpressive as always. He missed several tackles against the Bengals. Stupar is not athletic, but he understood his role, my thinking is that the more athletic Goodson takes on that role since it appears he has fallen way down the depth chart. Jonathan Anderson snags the final spot in the group with his athleticism and ability to get the ball out. Anderson forced two fumbles through the first two weeks of the preseason and is flying all over the field. If injuries stack up, I would not feel too bad about Anderson getting extended time in the regular season.

Defensive Back

Janoris Jenkins

Janoris Jenkins, Antoine Bethea, Deandre Baker, Grant Haley, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, Michael Thomas, Correy Ballentine, Sean Chandler, Antonio Hamilton

Defensive backs are another group that I think is already decided. Janoris Jenkins, Antoine Bethea, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Grant Haley, Julian Love, Michael Thomas and Correy Ballentine are all locks to make the team barring any injury. It is a mixed group of veterans and young talent who will all have a chance to get playing time. Sean Chandler is a depth and special teams guys, Antonio Hamilton is strictly a special teams ace and will most likely log a year of zero defensive snaps.

Special Teams

Aldrick Rosas

K Aldrick Rosas, P Riley Dixon, LS Zak DeOssie

The special teams group is very easy to see and requires no explanation. Aldrick Rosas does nothing but lift weights and nail kicks. Zak DeOssie is a veteran who is consistent. Riley Dixon is also very consistent and Johnny Townsend is no competition for Dixon.

The Giants are such a polarizing franchise right now, it is hard to say what they’ll do next. Who will they cut? Who deserves to be cut but actually makes it? Will Daniel Jones actually play? Will they go 3-13 or 9-7? The only question I can answer for sure when talking about my team, the New York football Giants is, “Will they push me to consume massive amounts of alcohol?” The answer is irrefutably yes.  

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