Tom Coughlin and the rest of the New York Giants coaching staff will need to get rid of 37 players before the end of August to submit an official 53-man roster.
The New York Giants have yet to play their first preseason game, but that doesn’t mean certain players aren’t already in danger of being cut.
Big Blue’s current 90-man roster needs to be pared down to 75 players by August 27. Four days later, 22 more Giants need to go to get to the official 53-man roster that will start the season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 8.
With these deadlines mere weeks away, Tom Coughlin and Co. are already forming an opinion about who won’t be around once Labor Day hits.
The following slides will detail five players who are quickly headed to free agency or the practice squad. To make the list more impactful and interesting, only players who were either drafted by New York in April or landed on the first 53-man roster for the 2012 season can qualify. In addition, the players will be listed from least to most surprising they are in danger of being cut based on their chances of making the team prior to the start of training camp.
Eric Herman’s chances of making the Giants’ 53-man roster were doomed before training camp even began.
For starters, not much is invested in the rookie since he was the next-to-last pick for the team in this year’s draft, 225th overall in the seventh round. In addition, the numbers just don’t add up for Herman to make the roster.
The Giants started the 2012 season with nine offensive linemen and ended with eight. They will certainly land on one of these two numbers when the roster is finalized on August 31.
Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee, David Diehl and Justin Pugh are all locks to make the team. Jim Cordle and James Brewer both bring flexibility to play multiple positions along the offensive line. The former can handle center and guard while the latter is capable at either guard or tackle. This flexibility gives each player an excellent chance of making the roster as well.
Herman’s only position is guard, as he is too slow to handle even right tackle. Therefore, along with his inexperience and low draft status, he also can’t play multiple positions—a key trait for any backup offensive lineman.
This also puts him behind players like Brandon Mosley and Selvish Capers, who will likely be battling for a ninth offensive line spot, if Big Blue chooses to go that deep. Both of these players can hold down guard or tackle.
Barring an injury, Herman’s fate has already been sealed. Since he is only a rookie, though, his chances of making the practice squad are decent, especially if he shows ability to be an NFL-caliber guard in preseason games.
Da’Rel Scott made the preseason 53-man roster in both 2011 and 2012. This streak will likely come to an end, however, in his third NFL season.
Jerry Reese touted Scott as “big and fast” after New York selected him in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, according to Ed Valentine of Big Blue View. With only 13 offensive touches in two seasons, he hasn’t received the chance to flash either attribute much in a Giants uniform.
Coming into camp, Scott had some hope of making the roster because he only had to beat out either veteran Ryan Torain or rookie Michael Cox to grab the fourth and final running back slot. Cox, though, has impressed so far in training camp and is already getting sleeper status before the first preseason game.
Torain is battling through an undisclosed injury, but assuming he is OK, the 26-year-old’s track record will likely be enough to beat out Scott. Torain had 742 yards rushing and four touchdowns in the 2010 season.
Scott has talent, and he’ll get at least three preseason games to show it. Cox’s new car smell and Torain’s experience, however, will make it tough for him to get noticed.
I was pretty adamant that Adewale Ojomo would make the 53-man roster just a few weeks ago. However, the beginning of training camp has quickly changed my thinking.
The reason why is because Matt Broha has jumped ahead of Ojomo on the Giants' first unofficial depth chart. The Giants will keep either five or six defensive ends. As it stands now, Ojomo is, at best, seventh, with only Justin Trattou potentially behind him.
Ojomo’s strong preseason in 2012, which was highlighted by a team-leading four sacks, helped the-then undrafted rookie make Big Blue out of training camp. He’ll need to do the same this preseason, starting on Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The problem, though, is that Broha showed a knack for getting to the quarterback last August as well. He was right behind Ojomo with three-and-a-half sacks.
Markus Kuhn played in 10 games for the New York Giants in 2012, accumulating a healthy 173 defensive snaps. His rookie season ended prematurely when he suffered a torn ACL against the Cincinnati Bengals in November.
His recovery from that same injury may prevent him from even making the roster in 2013.
Kuhn has yet to take the field in training camp as he tries to get his knee football-ready. When he’ll be activated from the PUP (physically unable to perform) list is unknown, but if he has any aspirations of being in a Giants uniform in September, he better get back quick.
While Kuhn rehabs, his competition for a roster spot—Shaun Rogers, Mike Patterson, Frank Okam and Marvin Austin—are all practicing.
Kuhn has a track record with this team, but if a fringe player can’t show he is healthy in training camp, it is tough to convince the coaching staff you belong.
Prior to the start of training camp, Will Hill not only appeared to be a lock to make the team in 2013 but also a starting candidate in 2014.
With Antrel Rolle a possible cap casualty next year and Stevie Brown on a one-year deal that will make him an unrestricted free agent after the season, the impressive Hill had the potential to start at either safety position.
On July 20 that all changed, when the 23-year-old was suspended by the NFL for the second time in two years. In 2012, it was because he used the banned performance-enhancing substance Adderall. This year, marijuana is what did him in.
While cutting Hill will be a disappointing decision for the Giants, they can make up for his absence due to solid depth at safety.
Ryan Mundy was signed as a free agent and is certainly qualified to be a backup after four 16-game seasons in Pittsburgh. Cooper Taylor is a versatile rookie who can play both safety and outside linebacker. He is, however, currently battling a hamstring injury, but it doesn’t appear to be too serious.
Tyler Sash, who was also suspended for Adderall use last season, has played in 23 games over two seasons with New York.
Will Hill may be the most talented safety on the team, but the Giants won’t have the patience to keep an inexperienced player with a troubled history around if he can’t show progress and improvement.
He is currently at the bottom of the safety depth chart and will likely stay there throughout the rest of training camp. Expect him to not even make the 75-man roster.
All stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
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