New York Giants Predictions: 6 Roster Moves the Giants Will Make This Preseason
The New York Giants have a lot of shuffling to do with their roster; they got rid of some staples along the offensive and defensive line and will have to figure out how to replace them.
They already announced some of the moves along the offensive line, but who is going to replace Barry Cofield in the starting lineup?
Who is going to play the third safety position now that the Giants lost Deon Grant?
Who is going to start at outside linebacker?
These are questions that have to be answered in a hurry or have already been answered from what we've seen in training camp.
David Diehl Will Move to LG, Will Beatty to Start at LT
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This season the Giants will be without long time offensive lineman Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert, and the Giants already have a new starting offensive line.
This move has already been announced, but David Diehl will be moving inside to left guard—his natural position—and Will Beatty will assume the role of starting left tackle.
We've seen this take place in training camp, so obviously this is a move that's already happened this preseason.
Diehl struggled in 2010 and Pro Football Focus named him one of the worst left tackles in the NFL last year. His age and the fact that he's a natural guard has caught up to him; this was a long time coming.
Beatty has all the tools to be a successful left tackle; he is agile and has quick feet to go along with his lean body and long arms. His pass blocking has been adequate, but the run blocking is what needs to come along.
He has to develop a mean streak or he'll never be able to get as much push as the Giants need.
Marvin Austin Will Start at DT
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Marvin Austin has been impressing everyone at camp so far with his incredible athleticism, and he could be on a fast track to snatch up the starting defensive tackle spot left by Barry Cofield.
The second-round pick from North Carolina had some issues in college and was suspended his senior season, but he hasn't lost a step and is putting all that behind him.
He's worked incredibly hard to stay in shape, and it will definitely pay off for him. Justin Tuck is apparently pleasantly surprised with how good Austin is doing in camp so far.
Last Tuesday Tuck Tweeted "We have a lot of talent in our rookie class but @anchormanaustin has been impressive so far."
Always good when the defensive captain has your back.
Victor Cruz Will Win the 3rd Wide Receiver Job
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With Ramses Barden sidelined with his ankle injury and Steve Smith still not signed because of his knee, it looks like Mario Manningham is going to be the team's No. 2 wide receiver and the No. 3 spot is up for grabs.
Victor Cruz became a fan sensation when he dominated the preseason last year. His best highlight was an incredible one handed (with his bad hand) grab down the sideline against the Jets—a play that most Giants fans remember.
Earlier today Cruz told reporters that he and Hixon are competing for the third wide receiver job, but I have to believe third-round pick Jerrel Jernigan is in the mix as well.
"I think I’m understanding coverages better and reads as far as route running," Cruz said. "I think it’s coming together for me a little better this year, and hopefully I can get that third spot."
If Cruz has a camp like he did last year and stays healthy, he could replace Smith in the lineup for the first several weeks of the season.
Henry Hynoski Will Start at FB
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Henry Hynoski was on to something when he told reporters yesterday that his No. 1 choice for teams was the New York Giants.
He realized the opportunity was going to be there for him to start as the team's fullback, and they made that possible when they cut Madison Hedgecock last week.
Coughlin has raved about Hynoski's ability to be a bruiser and do whatever the team asks of him. I see no reason why he won't become the team's starting full back, if he hasn't already solidified that in camp.
Terrell Thomas Will Play Some Safety
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One of Perry Fewell's favorite packages to run on defense last year was the three safety look with Deon Grant replacing one of the linebackers.
I get the feeling he is going to run that still due to the success it had against the pass.
Terrell Thomas has come out and told reporters at camp that he would be willing to play safety or even a nickel corner since those positions seem to fit his skill set more.
However, with the recent loss of Prince Amukamara to a fractured left foot, I don't know how much the Giants are going to be able to move Thomas away from his corner position.
The only way this can happen is if Aaron Ross shows the team he is fully healthy and capable of playing corner again.
I fully expect this to happen. Ross has battled injuries the past two seasons and is entering the final year of his contract with a lot to prove.
"I’ve been doing pretty well,” Ross told reporters today. "I came into camp in shape and I feel really good this year. I’m healthy. I feel like my old self. I have my balance back, my speed back, so I’m ready to go."
The Giants need Ross to step up and I believe he can do that given his circumstances. After losing Bruce Johnson for the season and now Amukamara for an extended period of time, the team's deepest position (corner) has all of a sudden become one of the thinnest.
Hopefully, Ross is feeling as good as he says he is.
Mathias Kiwanuka Will Start at OLB
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This is another one of the moves that has been evident at training camp already: Mathias Kiwanuka has been lining up with the first defensive group as an outside linebacker.
I've speculated this for some time now. While I did believe the Giants would make an attempt to bring in some outside linebacker help, I also figured all along if they weren't able to do that then Kiwanuka was a big part of their plan at the position.
Kiwanuka talked about his role with the team today.
"There will be a little bit of everything involved," Kiwanuka said. "I think being out there, being able to play as a linebacker and then being able to rush as a defensive end is probably the best fit for me, because I learn the entire defense and I can be used in a number of different ways."
It sounds like when the Giants go to that extra DB look, Kiwanuka will be the linebacker replaced. However, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck each having the ability to rush from the inside, Kiwanuka would likely put his hand in the dirt in passing situations.