Initial Post-Draft Depth Chart for the New York Giants
The initial wave of free agency and the 2013 NFL draft are finally in the books, and with that, we are one step closer to the beginning of another regular season.
Throughout free agency and the draft, teams have reshaped their rosters, and the New York Giants are no different.
Wondering what the Giants depth chart looks like, post draft?
Here it is:
Projected Depth Chart: Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Nassib
The Giants had the first major shakeup of their quarterback room in some time when they moved up in the fourth round to select Syracuse signal-caller Ryan Nassib.
What does this mean for the depth chart?
Well, for starters, I think you can say adios to Curtis Painter. Nassib's presence on the roster makes Painter expendable, and, to be honest, if Painter is the answer, I'd love to know the question.
For now, I'll have David Carr above Nassib, but let's be honest here: Nassib is already a better option than Carr.
Throughout the Manning/Tom Coughlin era, the Giants have generally kept only two quarterbacks on the roster. While it's possible that could change this season, that fact would still make me very, very nervous if I were Carr.
I expect Nassib to begin the season as Manning's primary backup.
Projected Depth Chart: David Wilson, Andre Brown, Da'Rel Scott, Ryan Torain, Michael Cox
For the first time since 2007, the Giants have a running back depth chart that includes neither Ahmad Bradshaw nor Brandon Jacobs.
Replacing them are last year's first-round pick, David Wilson, and Andre Brown, who came on in a big way in 2012 before a season-ending leg injury. The Giants expect Wilson to be a star, and Brown is currently the two.
The battle for the third running back spot will be between Da'Rel Scott, Ryan Torain and rookie Michael Cox.
Projected Depth Chart: Henry Hynoski
Not much to see here. Henry Hynoski is entrenched as the Giants starting fullback, and he's a good one.
Projected Depth Chart: Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Louis Murphy, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, Kris Adams
The Giants have an excellent stable of wide receivers, and the group is anchored by their outstanding one-two punch in Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. I'm not worried about Cruz's contract situation, and the Giants likely aren't, either, as they didn't select a receiver in the draft.
Louis Murphy receives the distinction of joining Nicks and Cruz at quarterback Eli Manning's passing academy, so I'll give him the leg up on second-year player Rueben Randle (for now). I love Randle's upside, though, and believe he'll eventually emerge as the third option.
Rounding out the group are Jerrel Jernigan and Kris Adams, and if one had to make the team, it'd surely be Jernigan, even though he's failed to sparkle thus far in his NFL career.
Projected Depth Chart: Brandon Myers, Bear Pascoe, Adrien Robinson
While the Giants' starting tight end in 2012, Martellus Bennett, moved on to the Chicago Bears, the team did a nice job replacing him, signing Brandon Myers away from the Raiders. He'll be the starter in 2013, and he had a terrific season a year ago in Oakland, catching 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns.
Bear Pascoe is currently listed as the backup, but he's more of a blocking type.
As for Adrien Robinson, last year's fourth-round pick? I know the Giants are high on him, and they'd like to see him get on the field this year after not catching a single pass in 2012. With more and more teams using "12" personnel (two tight ends), it'd behoove the Giants coaching staff to get Robinson ready to contribute, as he has the skill set to potentially dominate.
Good thing the Giants have one of the best tight end coaches in the league in Mike Pope.
Projected Depth Chart: Will Beatty, David Diehl, Matt McCants
General manager Jerry Reese did a terrific job in re-signing Will Beatty to be Eli Manning's blindside protector. He's an ascending player who is entrenched as the starting left tackle.
Behind Beatty is likely a combination of swingman David Diehl, who has played a lot of left tackle during his Giants career, and last year's sixth-round pick, Matt McCants.
With the drafting of versatile Syracuse offensive lineman Justin Pugh (more on him later) in the first round, I expect Diehl's primary focus this year to be on backing up Beatty.
Projected Depth Chart: Kevin Boothe, Selvish Capers, Eric Herman
Along with Beatty, Reese also re-signed left guard Kevin Boothe, keeping the left side of the Giants line intact. Boothe will remain the starter.
Behind him are Selvish Capers and rookie Eric Herman. I like Herman's potential and wouldn't be at all surprised if he came out as the top backup.
Projected Depth Chart: David Baas, Jim Cordle
Despite undergoing offseason surgery that will force him to miss all team activities until the start of training camp, David Baas is the unquestioned starter at center.
Jim Cordle, who can also play guard, serves as the primary backup.
Projected Depth Chart: Chris Snee, Brandon Mosley, Eric Herman
Incumbent starter Chris Snee joins David Baas as Giants offensive linemen who have had surgery this offseason, and, like Baas, Snee will likely miss all team-related activities until training camp begins. He's still the unquestioned starter.
Behind Snee is Brandon Mosley, who the Giants selected in the fourth round of last year's draft, and Herman.
Projected Depth Chart: Justin Pugh, James Brewer, David Diehl
Here's where things get a little tricky.
The Giants used their first-round selection in this year's draft on Syracuse offensive lineman Justin Pugh, and while Pugh has the versatility to play pretty much anywhere on the line except left tackle (due to his short arms), I fully expect the Giants to play him at right tackle, where he'll replace the descending Diehl.
Big Blue is also high on James Brewer, a fourth-round pick out of Indiana in 2011. Once thought of as the heir apparent at right tackle, he'll now have to fight Pugh for playing time.
That's a battle I expect Pugh to win. He's your likely Week 1 starter at right tackle.
Projected Depth Chart (LDE): Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Adrian Tracy
Projected Depth Chart (RDE): Jason Pierre-Paul, Damontre Moore, Adewale Ojomo
The once-vaunted Giants pass rush was putrid in 2012, only producing 33 sacks—their lowest total since 2009. The common denominator between those particular iterations of Big Blue? Both missed the postseason.
It'll be up to Justin Tuck (four sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul (6.5 sacks)—the unquestioned starters at defensive end—to pick up the slack in 2013.
Mathias Kiwanuka will make a close-to-full-time return to defensive end, which should help, and expect to see a lot of third-round pick Damontre Moore, a pass-rushing demon in his time at Texas A&M.
Preseason favorites Adrian Tracy and Adewale Ojomo round out the group.
Projected Depth Chart: Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, Johnathan Hankins, Shaun Rogers, Mike Patterson, Marvin Austin
The Giants turned defensive tackle into a position of strength this offseason with the signings of Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Shaun Rogers, plus the drafting of Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins in Round 2.
They'll join incumbents Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin.
I expect Joseph and Jenkins to start in Week 1, but the rotation will be in full effect, so expect to see lots of Hankins, Patterson, Austin and Rogers.
Projected Depth Chart (SLB): Keith Rivers
Projected Depth Chart (WLB): Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger
As you can tell by the lack of names on the depth chart, outside linebacker is very much still an area of need for the Giants, and Reese didn't use any of his draft picks to fortify the position
Rivers is locked in as the starting strong-side linebacker, while 2011 NFC Championship hero Jacquian Williams is scheduled to start on the weak side, with Spencer Paysinger providing depth.
This is one position you can definitely expect the Giants to address as the season draws nearer. There is no way the Week 1 depth chart looks like this. If it does, I give all Giants fans permission to be annoyed at Reese.
Projected Depth Chart: Dan Connor, Mark Herzlich, Jake Muasau
Connor started eight games for Dallas last season, and he's currently atop the depth chart. While Connor has shown flashes in his NFL career, his inability to stay healthy has to be a major concern for Reese and the Big Blue brain trust.
Mark Herzlich and Jake Muasau are behind Connor on the depth chart, with Herzlich likely to get playing time in the event Connor gets injured or is ineffective.
Projected Depth Chart (LCB): Corey Webster, Jayron Hosley, Terrence Frederick, Antonio Dennard
Projected Depth Chart (RCB): Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross, Trumaine McBride
Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara are locked into the two starting roles, and while Amukamara played well last season, Webster did not, and needs a better showing in 2013.
Terrell Thomas is back in the fold after having back-to-back seasons ended by ACL injuries. Whether or not he can stay healthy is the question, but if he can make it through the campaign unscathed, I believe he still has good football left in him.
Jayron Hosley will see a lot of time this year, and he has the ability to become an entrenched starter for the Giants at corner.
Projected Depth Chart (FS): Antrel Rolle, Will Hill
Projected Depth Chart (SS): Stevie Brown, Cooper Taylor, Ryan Mundy
Antrel Rolle has performed very well since joining the Giants prior to the 2011 season, and he's the unquestioned starter at free safety.
At strong safety, Stevie Brown was a revelation in 2012, intercepting eight passes and forcing (and recovering) two fumbles.
The Giants like to play a lot of three-safety looks, and I'd project fifth-round selection Cooper Taylor, who is built like a linebacker but has speed and range, to appear on the field alongside Rolle and Brown.
Projected Depth Chart (K): Josh Brown, David Buehler
Projected Depth Chart (P): Steve Weatherford
Projected Depth Chart (KR): David Wilson, Jerrel Jernigan, Da'Rel Scott
Projected Depth Chart (PR): Rueben Randle
Projected Depth Chart (LS): Zak DeOssie
Gone is kicker Lawrence Tynes, and Giants fans should be sad to see him go, as Tynes converted several of the biggest kicks in franchise history.
Replacing him on the roster are Josh Brown and David Buehler. Of the two, Brown is the more likely candidate to begin Week 1 as the starter.
Steve Weatherford is one of the most reliable punters in the league; he'll return in 2013.
While Rueben Randle appears entrenched as the punt returner, kick returner is an entirely different story.
David Wilson sparkled in the role in 2012, but he's about to take on the responsibilities of a featured running back, so I don't think it's likely he'll be returning kicks again in 2013.
I'd project Jerrel Jernigan and Da'Rel Scott as the most likely candidates to replace Wilson, as both guys have experience in the role.
Zak DeOssie returns as the long snapper.