Power Ranking Every New York Giant Under Contract Prior to Training Camp

Steven Goldstein@@GoldsteinNUContributor IJune 19, 2013

Power Ranking Every New York Giant Under Contract Prior to Training Camp

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    How do a speedy wideout and a physical linebacker stack up? In a sport based on intricate relationships between two-dozen positions, how do we identify the best players on each team? Is Victor Cruz better than Jason-Pierre Paul?

    It's a deep, if not fun concept that's worth exploring. As the New York Giants head to training camp, plenty of names stand out on the crammed preseason roster. Let's toast to figuring out, somehow, who the best Giants are, factoring in upside, recent success and value to the team.

No. 90-81

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    90. Chase Clement

    89. Kevin Hardy

    88. Alonzo Tweedy

    87. Junior Mertile

    86. Michael Cox

    85. Cooper Taylor

    84. Brandon Collins

    83. Jamie Childers

    82. Keith Carlos

    81. Etienne Sabino

    Not much to say here. Mostly undrafted free agent rookies who have an uphill battle to make this roster.

Nos. 80-71

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    80. Eric Herman

    79. Jake Muasau

    78. Bryant Browning

    77. Jeremy Horne

    76. Laron Scott

    75. Chris DeGeare

    74. Larry Donnell

    73. Frank Okam

    72. Kris Adams

    71. Michael Jasper

    Nobody pops out here either. Okam had a handful of tackles with the Texans a few years back, while DeGeare started five games for the Vikings before bouncing around the Titans' preseason roster last summer.

Nos. 70-61

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    70. Charles James

    69. Brandon Mosley

    68. Curtis Painter

    67. Kyle Bosworth

    66. Terrence Frederick

    65. Stephen Goodin

    64. Trumaine McBride

    63. Selvish Capers

    62. David Buehler 

    61. David Caldwell

    Buehler was the starting kicker for the Cowboys in 2010, but ranked 30th in field goal accuracy and hasn't been much of a factor since. Caldwell started 13 games at strong safety for the Colts in '11, and McBride was a spot start for the Bears during an injury-ridden 2007. 

Nos. 60-51

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    60. Matt McCants

    59. Markus Kuhn

    58. Da'Rel Scott

    57. Jim Cordle

    56. Justin Trattou

    55. Marvin Austin

    54. James Brewer

    53. Adrian Tracy

    52. Mike Patterson

    51. Matt Broha

    Kuhn found his way onto the Big Blue D-line before an ACL injury in Cincinnati knocked him out for the year. Austin's maddening health issues and character questions keep him from ever hitting the field, while Tracy and Broha enjoyed big preseasons last summer. Patterson was a starter for the Eagles as late as 2011, and should see some rotations this year.

Nos. 50-41

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    50. Shaun Rogers

    49. Adewale Ojomo

    48. Ryan Torain

    47. Will Hill

    46. Jerrel Jernigan

    45. Damontre Moore

    44. Adrien Robinson

    43. Aaron Curry

    42. David Carr

    41. Ryan Mundy

    There are some recognizable faces on this slide. Rogers was a Pro Bowler what seems like decades ago, while Ojomo was quick off the line of scrimmage last preseason. Jernigan may see his window closing with Randle and Wilson excelling on returns, while Moore touts first-round talent that will undoubtedly be employed in Perry Fewell's system. Carr remains one of the league's best backups, but Giants fans shudder at the thought of actually seeing him in a game. 

Nos. 40-31

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    40. Louis Murphy

    39. Ramses Barden

    38. Ryan Nassib

    37. Tyler Sash

    36. Zak DeOssie

    35. Mark Herzlich

    34. Jayron Hosley

    33. Spencer Paysinger

    32. Aaron Ross

    31. David Diehl

    Now we're in familiar territory. Murphy should make an impact as a speedy slot wideout, while Barden's monster game in Carolina last year keeps his ranking high. Nassib was considered a first-round quarterback as late as draft day, and DeOssie's been to the Pro Bowl twice as a long snapper. Hosley and Ross will duke it out for third corner responsibilities. Diehl's been on a precipitous fall since the 2012 Super Bowl. 

No. 30-21

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    30. Terrell Thomas

    29. Jonathan Hankins

    28. Bear Pascoe

    27. Justin Pugh

    26. Keith Rivers

    25. Jacquian Williams

    24. Rueben Randle

    23. Josh Brown

    22. Corey Webster

    21. David Baas

    Thomas could be as high as single-digits and as low as the 80s, it's all contingent on how he holds up this summer. If there's anything left in the once-gritty defensive back, the Giants will have a steal on their hands. Hankins has mammoth upside to go along with his mammoth frame, as does Pugh, who could be a starting tackle in his rookie year. Rivers and Williams stumble into starting linebacker spots, while Brown enjoys a career-long field goal of 58 yards and was effective for the Bengals last year. Webster's 2012 was a stinker, but the veteran has a very respectable career in New York and will be called upon once again in 2013. No, last season doesn't warrant a high ranking, but the Giants need Webster badly this fall.

Nos. 20-11

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    20. Cullen Jenkins

    19. Dan Connor

    18. Andre Brown

    17. Mathias Kiwanuka

    16. Prince Amukamara

    15. Brandon Myers

    14. Stevie Brown

    13. Antrel Rolle

    12. Henry Hynoski

    11. Steve Weatherford

    This is an interesting group. Jenkins and Connor are free agent signings that both figure to start this season. Brown's ranking will skyrocket if he reprises his first half of 2012. Amukamara has a chance to be the clear-cut No. 1 corner, and Myers has a chance to become a national name if he snags passes from Eli Manning the way he did in Oakland. Stevie Brown's eight interceptions were good for second in the NFL last season, but the surprising success story needs another season to prove he's the real deal. Hynoski and Weatherford are two of the best in the business at their respective positions. 

No. 10: Justin Tuck

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    Yeah, he had a down year; and yeah, there have been mumblings of replacing him soon; but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves: Justin Tuck is New York's defensive captain and still has some gas in the tank.

    Despite only nine sacks in the past two inconsistent years, Tuck remains so high because of his past dominance and the fact that the nine-year veteran could have a big 2013. He's physical in run defense and gives this unit experience and grit.

No. 9: Kevin Boothe

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    The Giants' offensive line tallied a league-best 2.36 win probability last year, and much of that credit goes to guard Kevin Boothe. Once a liability up front, Boothe paved the middle all season long, and shocked just about everyone with a stellar '12.

    Needless to say, the Giants prioritized resigning him. Boothe excels in run-blocking and has been around for both Super Bowl seasons. He's certainly not the flashiest player on the roster, and his penchant for penalties gives him a bad rep with fans at times.

    Still, Boothe's a key reason for New York's revitalized running game. Boothe's started 26 straight games, hasn't been injured since 2010 and was one of the most sought-after linemen on the market this fall. The G-Men need him desperately.

No. 8: Linval Joseph

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    This is another weird one. Like Boothe, Joseph is an unsung hero of the Giants; he excelled in a down year for the team's front seven. Hailed as a "secret superstar," he'll be heavily relied upon this fall.

    Joseph's win probability last year topped that of Nick Fairley, Darnell Dockett and Kyle Williams. With four sacks in just his second full season, his stock is certainly on the rise. For Big Blue to return to physical, defensive football, it'll need Joseph to keep producing. 

No. 7: David Wilson

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    He could shoot right up the rankings. The Giants have themselves a gem in Wilson, who's explosiveness and agility make for big-play potential at both running back and kick returner. Averaging five yards a carry in his rookie effort and coming on strong at the end of the season, Wilson takes the reins from Ahmad Bradshaw and looks poised for a huge 2013.

    The Giants will rely on Wilson to continue the progress the team made on the ground last season. Much of Eli Manning's game is reliant on play action and opening up the field, and Wilson will get plenty of handoffs.

    The sky's the limit for this kid—let's see how things look in his second year.

No. 6: Will Beatty

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    Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 2 left tackle in the NFC last year, behind only Pro Bowler Joe Staley. A top-five left tackle with plenty of time to improve, Beatty's resigning was the jewel of New York's offseason.

    Beatty's impressive in both run and pass blocking, and was perhaps the best linemen on a dominant line last season. The Giants will need him even more this season, blocking Eli Manning's blind side while opening the edge for David Wilson.  

No. 5: Chris Snee

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    A decorated veteran who has been loyal to the program, Snee gets his props here. The four-time Pro Bowler remains one of the best guards in the NFL, and will be called upon again in 2013 to pick up the pace in the running game.

    Snee's had few hiccups in his revered career with the G-Men. He's certainly getting up there in age, but with three All-Pro honors and two Super Bowl rings, Snee stays near the top.

No. 4: Victor Cruz

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    Two star-studded years means a spot in the top five for Cruz, who just signed his free agent tender to stay in New York. While the jury's still out on a long-term deal, Cruz's big-play potential and vertical receiving abilities are hard to dispute.

    Cruz emerged as Eli Manning's top target with Hakeem Nicks down last season. Back-to-back seasons with 80+ receptions, four-digit yardage totals and at least nine receiving touchdowns makes him a sizzling standout in the NFL. Another year will likely bring him even higher.

No. 3: Hakeem Nicks

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    Nicks just edges Cruz due to more experience, more trust from Eli Manning and more consistent output as a possession receiver. Both wideouts are among the league's best, and Nicks is poised for a bounce-back 2013 after hobbling to just 13 games last season.

    Both Nicks and Cruz will command huge contracts next offseason, but for now, let's enjoy this dynamic tandem. Few other quarterbacks have it as good as Eli Manning.

No. 2: Jason Pierre-Paul

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    J.P.P. changes the game when he's playing his best. Despite last year's disappointment, Pierre-Paul ranks so high simply because he alters the entire dynamic of the Giants' defense. With almost 24 sacks over the past two years, Pierre-Paul will anchor this D once again in his fourth season.

    Despite the down year for Nicks, the Giants' offense still excelled. But without Pierre-Paul performing at his best level, the G-Men sunk to 30th in total defense. He's the difference-maker this season.

No. 1: Eli Manning

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    No question. Two-time Super Bowl MVP, emerging statistical leader and praised team captain, Eli Manning is the focal point of everything the Giants have done over the past half-decade. After tossing five touchdowns against the Eagles in week 17, Manning will need to be razor-sharp from the get-go this fall.