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New York Giants' 53-Man Roster Projection 2.0

Scott LoganContributor IIJune 26, 2016

New York Giants' 53-Man Roster Projection 2.0

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    OTAs are over and training camp is quickly approaching, so now is as good a time as any to take another look at how the New York Giants' 53-man roster may turn out come September.

    Last month, I projected the roster after free agency slowed down and before OTAs began. I plan on making another prediction next month once training camp is underway, and I'll explore how much has changed between now and then.

    I've split up the roster by position, and thrown each player into one of three categories: "most likely," "on the bubble" and "not likely." "Impossible" is nothing, as a certain undrafted receiver out of UMass has recently taught us.

    So, take a look at my prediction and let me know what you think. And be sure to check back next month for Projection 3.0.

Quarterbacks

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: Eli Manning, David Carr

    Both guys are locks. Of course, Eli will return for his ninth season in blue, and will look to defend the Giants' Super Bowl title. Carr was re-signed in March, and will back-up Manning for the fourth time in five years. He didn't even attempt a pass last season, but will be there just in case something happens to Eli (God forbid), or if the Giants are winning in a blowout.

    On the bubble: None

    Unlikely: Ryan Perrilloux

    The Giants made 22 roster moves last season involving Perrilloux, as he went back and forth between free agency and the practice squad. But he seems like the desired number three quarterback behind Manning and Carr.

    The only problem is that the Giants rarely carry more than two quarterbacks due to Manning's durability.

    Perrilloux won't make the 53-man, but is a likely candidate for the practice squad.


Running Backs

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, Da'Rel Scott

    Incumbent starter Bradshaw and first-round pick Wilson are obvious locks. A lot of you disagreed with my placement of Scott on the bubble last month, and after re-evaluating my roster, I would have to agree with your protests. The return game is still murky, and with a year of experience under his belt, Scott could be very useful in that area. His 5'11" height makes many question how effective he can be offensively, but remember that Bradshaw is listed as 5'10". If Scott can hold onto the ball in preseason action, he'll definitely stick around.

    On the bubble: D.J. Ware, Andre Brown

    I've changed both of these guys' statuses since last month, moving Ware down and Brown up. Ware has been relatively useless in the running game as a Giant, accumulating rushing 324 yards in four seasons, and his time might be up. If he sticks around, it will be because of his ability to keep a defense on its feet; Ware had 46 carries last season, but also caught 27 passes, so when he's on the field, it's never clear if Eli will hand off or pass.

    Brown moves up because his four-game suspension was lifted after an appeal. Still, he has carried the ball just twice in his NFL career, recording -1 yards (yes, negative one). Personally, I see the Giants carrying four running backs this year given Bradshaw's injury history and the fact that they will look to improve the NFL's statistically worst rushing attack a year ago. One of these guys could make it (probably Ware), or it could be a player on the next page instead.

    Unlikely: None

    Ware and Brown won't both make the team, but the two of them will have every opportunity to do so.

Fullbacks

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: Henry Hynoski

    Hynoski would have to have a pretty bad preseason to lose his starting job. The former undrafted free agent out of Pitt looked good last season, and should have the full support of the coaching staff moving forward.

    On the bubble: Joe Martinek

    I moved Martinek up since last month after he had a nice minicamp. The coaching staff really likes him, especially Kevin Gilbride, who singled out Martinek for being very versatile. If the former Scarlet Knight makes the team, he would do so because of his potential in the running game. If he outplays D.J. Ware and Andre Brown this summer, Martinek could make the team as a running back.

    For what it's worth, he averaged 5.1 YPC on 24 carries last year at Rutgers. Despite all this, he is still very much on the bubble, especially with TE Bear Pascoe able to play fullback. If Martinek doesn't make the team, expect him to resurface on the practice squad.

    Not likely: None

Wide Receivers

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden

    Hakeem Nicks' injury certainly shakes things up, but he is expected to be ready for the season opener against Dallas, and all I did for this category was move Barden up. In Nicks' absence, Cruz and Hixon have been the top two receivers, although I fully expect Randle to overtake Hixon on the depth chart this summer. The Giants simply want the second-round pick out of LSU to prove his worth. He's been doing his part, receiving rave reviews of his camp performance.

    Hixon's veteran presence should give him the edge in any competition with Jernigan, although it will likely be Randle who wins the #3 job once Nicks returns. Barden will be at the bottom of the depth chart following what has been a thoroughly disappointing career for the 26-year old. Still, Nicks' injury and the threat of aggravation likely solidified Barden's spot on the team.

    On the bubble: None

    Not likely: Julian Talley, Dan DePalma, Isaiah Stanback, David Douglas, Brandon Collins

    All of these guys are long shots, though it wouldn't be totally surprising to see one of them make the team if injuries strike. The Giants and their fans would probably love to see Talley emerge, following in the footsteps of fellow former undrafted receiver out of UMass, Victor Cruz. But Cruz's emergence feels like a once-in-a-decade kind of experience. Still, who knows? DePalma and Stanback both spent last season on the practice squad and could return there in 2012. Douglas and Collins are UDFAs, and are both long shots.

Tight Ends

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: Patriots claimed TE Jake Ballard off waivers from Giants

    The Giants' world is still coming to terms with the fact that Ballard is no longer a New York Giant. The former undrafted free agent out of Ohio State racked up 38 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns last season before tearing his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI.

    It's not clear if Ballard will be able to play at all in 2012, so the Giants waived him with the intention of placing him on injured reserve if and when he cleared waivers. But those sneaky Patriots claimed him (and were supposedly the only team to put in a claim), and just like that, Ballard's time with the Giants came to an abrupt end. It doesn't change the Giants' season outlook too much, since he wasn't expected to contribute this season anyway, but the G-Men likely believed he would return to form in 2013.

    Most likely: Martellus Bennett, Bear Pascoe, Adrien Robinson

    None of these guys are known for their pass-catching abilities, but TE coach Mike Pope has had recent success converting blocking tight ends into valuable assets in the aerial attack (i.e. Ballard, Kevin Boss). Bennett will look to be that player this year, though his surprisingly high weight (291 pounds) could be an issue. Signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, the Giants will look to make the former Cowboy a receiving threat.

    Pascoe will serve the same role he did last year as a blocking specialist and occasional red-zone target. The Giants have been very high on Robinson, though don't expect too much from him in his rookie season.

    On the bubble: Travis Beckum, Christian Hopkins

    Good news continues to come in regarding Beckum's recovery from ACL surgery, and it sounds like he could take the field sooner rather than later. Still, call me a skeptic, but I find it hard to imagine him being 100 percent for week one, just seven months after tearing his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI. Considering his injury history, I don't think the Giants will send him out there unless he's 100%. I expect him to land on the PUP list.

    Hopkins could benefit from Beckum's injury and Bennett's weight gain, but the Giants might decide to keep him on the practice squad until they really need him.

    Not likely: Larry Donnell, Ryan Purvis

    Both of these guys are camp bodies, although Purvis has some NFL experience, catching five passes for 38 yards for the Bucs in 2010.

Offensive Linemen

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: David Baas, Chris Snee, Kevin Boothe, David Diehl, James Brewer, Mitch Petrus, Will Beatty, Brandon Mosley, Sean Locklear

    I moved Locklear up because he is a veteran without a prohibitive contract, and even if he doesn't win a starting job (which he probably won't), then he can still be a valuable lineman off the bench.

    I didn't move Diehl down, but he should be on notice. After his DUI arrest, he was fined, but won't be suspended. Still, the Giants are historically a no-nonsense team. If Diehl screws up again, he could be in danger of losing his roster spot, especially considering his declining play over the past two seasons.

    Everyone else is pretty much a given, but the way the line looks is the real question. Baas (center) and Snee (right guard) are the only players with guaranteed starting jobs, though Diehl and Boothe will likely occupy two of the other starting jobs as long as they don't fall flat on their faces in training camp.

    Boothe and Diehl can both play guard and tackle (though Diehl is better suited on the outside), so where exactly everyone lines up is a bit of a question mark right now.

    Beatty is a bit of a mystery. He started ten games at left tackle last year before a detached retina put an end to his season. He has never looked great in his three-year NFL career, but the Giants kept putting him out there anyway. He'll need to prove that his eye injury is not a concern and that he can improve in pass protection if he wants to earn his starting job back.

    My guess is Diehl returns to his natural left tackle position, Boothe wins the left guard job, Baas will be in the middle, Snee at right guard, and second-year player James Brewer wins the RT position, with Locklear, Petrus, Beatty and fourth-round rookie Mosley coming off the bench. This could be way off though; training camp and preseason games will have a huge impact on this.

    On the bubble: Matt McCants

    With the large number of offensive linemen on the Giants' current 90-man roster, McCants, this year's sixth-round pick, could be lost among all the veterans. Still, he has shown real talent coming out of UAB, so the Giants will look to stash him on the practice squad if he doesn't make the team.

    Not likely: Selvish Capers, Chris White, Jim Cordle, Joel Reinders, Stephen Goodin

    White, Reinders and Goodin are probably all camp bodies. Capers is a candidate to return to the practice squad. Cordle spent a lot of time on the active roster last year, but only as an emergency center, and he didn't get much playing time. However, he is no longer eligible for the practice squad, and could push for a bench spot with a good camp.

Defensive Linemen

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: restructured DE Osi Umenyiora's contract; re-signed DT Rocky Bernard

    Most likely: Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin, Justin Trattou

    Not much changed here. The big news is that Osi finally received his restructured contract. Some fans were disappointed it was just a raise and not an extension, but the short-term benefits for the Giants are great. They made Osi happy, so there won't be any holdout drama. Plus, Umenyiora is in a contract year. If defending his Super Bowl title wasn't enough motivation as it is, playing for a new, lucrative concert should be.

    Tuck and JPP will remain the clear-cut starters at the ends, with Osi rotating in frequently. Canty and Joseph, both coming off career years, will remain the starters inside.

    Austin may not be the #3 defensive tackle, but his roster spot is pretty safe after being selected in the second round of the 2011 draft. Trattou, last year's undrafted rookie out of Florida, spent most of last season as the fifth defensive end, but with Dave Tollefson now in Oakland, will have a good chance at an increased role.

    On the bubble: Rocky Bernard, Shaun Rogers, Markus Kuhn

    Last month, I had Rogers in the "most likely" section, but Bernard's re-signing shakes things up. When Rogers was signed, it was believed he would replace Bernard, but clearly, that isn't the case. These two will battle it out for the No. 3 defensive tackle job. It's hard to envision both making the team, since that would mean the Giants would carry five defensive tackles. I have to imagine Bernard is the favorite after spending the past three seasons with the team.

    Kuhn is a seventh-round rookie who the Giants really like. Unfortunately, he'll be competing for a spot on a team with perhaps the best defensive line depth in the NFL. Even if he doesn't make the team, I imagine the Giants will do their best to stash him on the practice squad.

    Not likely: Matt Broha, Craig Marshall, Adewale Ojomo, Dwayne Hendricks, Martin Parker

    It would have to take a lot of injuries and/or spectacular preseason performances for these guys to crack the 53-man. 

Linebackers

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: Michael Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka, Chase Blackburn, Keith Rivers, Jacquian Williams, Mark Herzlich

    Again, not much has changed here since last month. Boley and Kiwanuka will start on the outside, but it's the middle linebacker competition that will be attracting the most attention this summer. Perry Fewell recently said that Blackburn will enter camp as the starter, but he'll have to play well to keep it. Blackburn's main competition will come in the form of newly acquired Keith Rivers. Rivers is an outside linebacker, so if he plays better than Blackburn in camp, he'll start outside with Kiwanuka and Boley will move into the middle.

    Williams will continue his role as a rotational linebacker and ace special teamer. Herzlich will compete for the middle linebacker job, but probably needs more seasoning, and could come off the bench for the G-Men.

    On the bubble: Clint Sintim, Greg Jones

    I just have a hard time fitting both of these guys into the 53-man roster. Sintim has failed to make an impact in the NFL after being drafted 45th overall in 2009, and is still recovering from ACL surgery. He had to miss OTAs because of his troublesome knee.

    Jones may have a better chance simply because he's younger and healthy. He started 11 games at middle linebacker for the Giants last year, but wasn't great. The fact that the Giants signed Blackburn, who hadn't played football in nearly a year and was previously mainly a special teamer for the Giants, and started him immediately during their playoff push says a lot. Jones could still secure a roster spot with a nice camp.

    Not likely: Spencer Paysinger, Adrian Tracy, Jake Muasau

    Paysinger played in all but one game last year, but was limited mainly to special teams. The addition of Rivers may push Paysinger off the roster. Tracy won't make it as a linebacker, but the career practice squad player will reportedly compete with Justin Trattou for the fourth defensive end job. Still, Trattou has more experience at the position than Tracy, and has to be viewed as the favorite. Muasau is a camp body with a little upside after being undrafted out of Georgia State.

Cornerbacks

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: placed CB Brian Witherspoon on IR; signed CB Dante Hughes

    Witherspoon tore his ACL for the second time in as many years during OTAs, and was waived/injured. Unlike Jake Ballard, however, Witherspoon cleared waivers and was placed on injured reserve. He'll spend the season recovering and hit restricted free agency next spring.

    Most likely: Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, Prince Amukamara, Jayron Hosley, Antwaun Molden

    I moved Molden from "on the bubble" to "most likely," because after watching Witherspoon suffer another torn ACL, I was reminded of how injury-ravaged the Giants' secondary was last preseason, which saw Witherspoon, Thomas and Bruce Johnson all go down with torn ACLs.

    Webster and Thomas are the clear-cut starters, and Amukamara will look to improve upon a disappointing rookie season that saw him miss nine games and struggle in coverage. The Giants don't intend on having Hosley be much of a factor on defense, as he's ticketed for a special teams/return role as a rookie. Molden played in every game last year for the New England Patriots, drawing two starts. He could see a lot of snaps, especially with the inexperienced Amukamara and Hosley behind starters Webster and Thomas.

    On the bubble: Bruce Johnson, Michael Coe, Justin Tryon, Dante Hughes

    Webster seems to be the only sure bet, in terms of roster security and injury, of the cornerbacks. We know how talented Thomas can be, but it might take him some time to regain that ability after missing all of last season. Amukamara is still growing. Hosley is a rookie. Molden is a first-year Giant. Therefore, I would expect one or two of these guys to make the team. Johnson, Coe and Tryon all ended last year on injured reserve. Johnson missed the entire season, Coe played in 10 games and Tryon played in six (three with the Colts, then three with the Giants).

    Hughes, on the other hand, played in 15 games last year for the Chargers, and, honestly, he's probably an upgrade over Witherspoon, who played in just one game over the past two seasons. He's also got health on his side, with the other three recovering from season-ending injuries, although they are all expected to be ready for training camp.

    Not likely: Brandon Bing

    The former Rutgers cornerback is looking at a steep climb with all of the depth in front of him. He could resurface on the practice squad again.

Safeties

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Tyler Sash

    The Giants have a lot of safeties to look at in training camp, but these are the only three with strong holds on roster spots. Rolle and Phillips, obviously, will be the starters, but Sash could see more defensive snaps in his second year. That would prove especially true if the Giants don't re-sign veteran Deon Grant. Never count Grant out, though; he wasn't re-signed until August 16 last year.

    On the bubble: Janzen Jackson, Stevie Brown

    As it stands right now, one of these guys will probably make the team. However, that could all change if Grant is re-signed. Brown spent eight games with the Colts last year, but was limited to just one assisted tackle. His best case scenario is sticking around as a special teams safety, basically this year's version of Derrick Martin.

    I included Jackson in last month's "not likely" list, but after reading your comments and doing some research on him, I have to say I'm pretty sold on his roster chances compared to the other UDFAs. Things looked great for him in 2010, after recording five interceptions and 11 deflected passes at Tennessee, but he was released from the team after dealing with substance abuse. In just three games at small school McNeese State in 2011, he intercepted three passes. The Giants might keep him around because of the potential he possesses, especially after his stellar 2010 season playing in the difficult SEC.

    Not likely: Jojo Nicolas, Will Hill, Chris Horton

    Nicolas is an undrafted free agent out of Miami. Hill has spent time with the AFL's Arizona Rattlers. Horton is intriguing. The former Redskin took last year off after struggling to stay on the field in 2009 and 2010. He looked good as a rookie in 2008, but in the NFL, four years is a lifetime. Perhaps the year out of football will help him, but don't hold your breath. All of these guys are long shots.

Special Teams

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    Roster moves since Projection 1.0: None

    Most likely: Lawrence Tynes, Steve Weatherford, Zak DeOssie

    As long as injuries don't strike, there shouldn't be any change here. 

    Tynes is entering a contract year. Through his first five seasons in blue, he has converted a respectable 83.2 percent of his field goals.

    Weatherford received the franchise tag after the season after posting career highs in punting yards (3,745) and yards per punt (45.7), and later signed a five-year extension that keeps him under contract through the 2016 season.

    DeOssie was the Giants' special teams captain last year and is a two-time Pro Bowl long snapper. He was awarded with a three-year extension in April.

    On the bubble: None

    Not likely: None

My 53-Man Roster Projection 2.0

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    Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin and the rest of the Giants' decision-makers have some tough choices to make this summer. The current 90-man roster will have to be cut down to 53 by preseason's end.

    Here's my best guess on who will make the team, and who will miss it.

    The numbers are simply for keeping track of how many players are on the roster, not their likelihood of making it. Injuries, trades and additional free agent signings can change this projection drastically, so check back next month for my updated article and projection.

    Leave your unanimous comments of approval and agreement below, and follow me on Twitter (@IAmScottLogan).

    1. Eli Manning (QB)

    2. David Carr (QB)

    3. Ahmad Bradshaw (RB)

    4. David Wilson (RB)

    5. Da'rel Scott (RB)

    6. D.J. Ware (RB)

    7. Henry Hynoski (FB)

    8. Hakeem Nicks (WR)

    9. Victor Cruz (WR)

    10. Rueben Randle (WR)

    11. Domenik Hixon (WR)

    12. Jerrel Jernigan (WR)

    13. Ramses Barden (WR)

    14. Martellus Bennett (TE)

    15. Bear Pascoe (TE)

    16. Adrien Robinson (TE)

    17. David Baas (C)

    18. Chris Snee (G)

    19. Kevin Boothe (G)

    20. David Diehl (OT)

    21. James Brewer (OT)

    22. Mitch Petrus (G)

    23. Will Beatty (OT)

    24. Sean Locklear (OT)

    25. Brandon Mosley (OT)

    26. Justin Tuck (DE)

    27. Jason Pierre-Paul (DE)

    28. Chris Canty (DT)

    29. Linval Joseph (DT)

    30. Osi Umenyiora (DE)

    31. Rocky Bernard (DT)

    32. Marvin Austin (DT)

    33. Justin Trattou (DE)

    34. Michael Boley (OLB)

    35. Mathias Kiwanuka (OLB)

    36. Chase Blackburn (ILB)

    37. Keith Rivers (OLB)

    38. Jacquian Williams (OLB)

    39. Mark Herzlich (ILB)

    40. Greg Jones (ILB)

    41. Corey Webster (CB)

    42. Terrell Thomas (CB)

    43. Antrel Rolle (S)

    44. Kenny Phillips (S)

    45. Prince Amukamara (CB)

    46. Jayron Hosley (CB)

    47. Antwaun Molden (CB)

    48. Dante Hughes (CB)

    49. Tyler Sash (S) 

    50. Janzen Jackson (S)

    51. Lawrence Tynes (K)

    52. Steve Weatherford (P)

    53. Zak DeOssie (LS)

     

    The Ones Who Didn't Make It:

    QB: Ryan Perrilloux

    RB: Joe Martinek, Andre Brown

    WR: Dan DePalma, Isaiah Stanback, Julian Talley, David Douglas, Brandon Collins

    TE: Travis Beckum (PUP), Ryan Purvis, Christian Hopkins, Larry Donnell

    OL: Jim Cordle, Matt McCants, Selvish Capers, Chris White, Joel Reinders, Stephen Goodin

    DL: Shaun Rogers, Markus Kuhn, Craig Marshall, Dwayne Hendricks, Adewale Ojomo, Matt Broha, Martin Parker

    LB: Clint Sintim, Spencer Paysinger, Adrian Tracy, Jake Muasau

    DB: Michael Coe, Justin Tryon, Bruce Johnson, Stevie Brown, Brandon Bing, Chris Horton, Jojo Nicolas, Will Hill

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