Predicting New York Giants Two-String Depth Chart, Post-OTAs
And we're back.
Though it's been four months without football, a serpentine 2012 and a forgettable second-place finish in the NFC East make it feel like the New York Giants have been held out of action for considerably longer. With OTAs in the books and preseason ball on the horizon, Big Blue is right back at it.
Admittedly, this Giants team will look a bit different from last year's. Pro football features some of the most vicious turnover in all of sports, and after an offseason without any real cap room, New York's depth chart is a bit shaken up heading into the summer.
Check out a premature look at the G-Men's depth chart for 2013.
1. Eli Manning
2. David Carr
No surprises here. Manning takes the league's longest active consecutive starts streak into the fall, looking to improve upon an inconsistent '12. The two-time Super Bowl MVP still anchors one of the league's most explosive, if not volatile, passing attacks.
Veteran David Carr was retained and will likely sit as the No. 2 quarterback, but touted rookie Ryan Nassib could make a push here.
1. David Wilson
2. Andre Brown
(Fullback) Henry Hynoski, Bear Pascoe
No Ahmad Bradshaw, no problem.
Both Wilson and Brown averaged over five yards per carry last year, with Wilson boasting serious breakaway speed and Brown acting as a bruising change of pace in the red zone. Wilson looks to be the better option in the screen game, but expect both 'backs to be heavily involved this year.
Had Brown's season not been cut short in November, he could have hit double-digit touchdowns. Wilson's emergence may compromise his duties on kickoff returns. Hynoski enters with two impressive years under his belt and a Week 17 touchdown against the Eagles. Though he sustained an injury in the first round of OTAs, he claims he'll be ready for opening night. If not, backup tight end Bear Pascoe will get the start.
1. Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz
2. Rueben Randle, Louis Murphy
Neither Nicks nor Cruz were present at OTAs, troubling but nothing imminent. Both wideouts have Pro Bowl potential, with Nicks acting as a No. 1 read and possession receiver while Cruz poses a deep threat and a playmaker on the outside or in the slot.
Randle should expect more reps as a second-year, while the speedy Murphy will be involved in shotgun packages in his first season in New York.
1. Brandon Myers
2. Bear Pascoe
After netting 79 receptions and over 800 yards in Oakland last year, Myers is a great mid option that should replace Martellus Bennett with ease. Though not as physical a run blocker, his frame and receiving abilities will be welcomed with open arms.
Pascoe's nothing more than a blocking tight end, but second-year Adrien Robinson could be involved in the offense as well.
1. Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee, David Diehl
2. James Brewer, Selvish Capers, Jim Cordle, Brandon Mosley, Justin Pugh
Aside from Sean Locklear, this line stays the exact same. One of the most surprising units in all of football last season, the Giants O-line is spearheaded by the re-signing of Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe on the left side.
Justin Pugh is an especially intriguing backup. Selected in the first round of April's draft, Pugh's drawn simultaneous scrutiny and hype heading into his first season in New York. With David Diehl aging and playing pretty inconsistently, Pugh and James Brewer could vie for the right tackle job.
New York's line is strong in both run and pass blocking. Snee and Boothe are a strong guard combo, and the improved Baas should help pave the way for the inside running game. Right tackle remains the only question here.
DE: Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Damontre Moore
DT: Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, Johnathan Hankins, Mike Patterson
Even without Osi Umenyiora, this is a deep line. JPP and Tuck will both look to bounce back after a disappointing 2012, while Jenkins comes from rival Philadelphia Eagles to replace Chris Canty. Joseph was a quiet success in the middle of the line last year.
The Giants' depth comes at the ends, where third-round steal Damontre Moore joins Adrian Tracy, Matt Broha and Adewale Ojomo. All four are fast off the edge, with the latter three enjoying standout preseasons last summer.
New York's sack totals fell last year, but this is still a talented line. If Tuck doesn't have anything left, one of the younger ends will step up. Kuhn and Austin are both big bodies with big upside, and if Austin ever reaches the field, he could be a difference-maker.
1. Jacquian Williams, Dan Connor, Keith Rivers
2. Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich, Aaron Curry
This is unquestionably the weakest unit on the team. Williams and Kiwi have yet to really prove themselves as run-stoppers or pass defenders, while Connor comes from Dallas on the downside of his career. Paysinger and Rivers were nothing special last year, while Herzlich logged 30 tackles backing up Chase Blackburn in the middle.
In a division where tight ends (Jason Witten, Fred Davis) and running backs (Alfred Morris, Lesean McCoy) are key, the Giants will need a lot from their linebackers. It doesn't look too assuring right now, but let's see how the competition plays out this summer.
1. Prince Amukamara, Corey Webster
2. Jayron Hosley, Aaron Ross, Terrell Thomas
Amukamara held his own last year, but Webster regressed to a liability in 2012 (those games against the Cowboys and Ravens are still sharp memories). Both will need to step up this fall, especially if the defensive line fails to put up sacks again.
Hosley was picked on as a rookie, but the speedy Virginia Tech product showed promise in his first season. Aaron Ross returns to New York after a one-year hiatus in Jacksonville. Both are complete wild cards this season, as is returning corner Terrell Thomas, who could be used at safety.
1. Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown
2. Will Hill, Ryan Mundy
Rolle was beat too often as a center fielder last year, but Brown stole the show with eight interceptions. If he can reprise that again this year, the Giants secondary has a fighting chance.
Hill and Mundy are serviceable backups, while Tyler Sash waits in the wings as well. If New York's corners are beat again this fall, the safeties need to be sturdy over the top.
(Kicker) Josh Brown
(Punter) Steve Weatherford
(Returners) David Wilson and Rueben Randle
(Long Snapper) Zak DeOssie
Weatherford's consistent as any punter out there, while Brown replaces veteran Lawrence Tynes. With a lengthy career-long field goal of 58 yards, he should be fine in New York. Brown nailed 11 of 12 tries with the Bengals last year.
Wilson and Randle are question marks here, as both will see augmented duties on offense. Wilson's explosiveness in the return game may be too good to pass up though.