By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG
We are in the final week of cuts and all NFL teams must get their roster to the mandatory 53 by August 31. GM Dave Gettleman, Head Coach Joe Judge and the rest of the Giants coaching staff will be making some tough decisions at the deadline. Due to covid-19 protocol, all teams will be allocated two additional roster spots each week during the season without having those players go through waivers. We could see some notable names not making the final roster and looking for new homes. We could see late signings by GM Dave Gettleman as the waiver wire could be flooded with experience players who could fill a need at a certain position. I will project my final 53-man roster that I believe will give the Giants the best talent and chance to compete in 2021. Let’s get started:
Quarterback (2): Daniel Jones/Mike Glennon
Note: The Giants will only carry two quarterbacks in 2021 and for now Glennon is the backup, however; this could change if a better option is available on the waiver wire.
Running Back (3): Saquan Barkley/Devontae Booker/Corey Clement
Note: This projection is under the assumption that Saquan Barkley will be activated for the 1st game, although rumors have indicated that he could miss the opening game. If so, I see rookie Gary Brightwell being activated as Barkley’s replacement for game 1.
Fullback(1): Eli Penny
Note: The Giants will utilize the Fullback position in 2021 and Penny is a more complete player than Gillaspia who could go to the practice squad.
Wide Reciever (7): Kenny Golladay/Sterling Shepard/Darius Slayton/Kadarius Toney/John Ross/David Sills. CJ Board
Note: This projection is under the assumption that both Golladay and Toney are available to start the season. The Giants normally carry six wide receivers to start the season, but could go with 7 for week 1 as both David Sills and CJ Board have shown their value.
Tight Ends (3): Evan Engram/Kaden Smith/Kyle Rudolph
Note: The season ending injury to Levine Toilolo (torn achllies) will make the Giants decide to only go with three tight ends and employ a fullback for the 2021 season.
Offensive Linemen (9): Andrew Thomas/Shane Lemieux/Nick Gates/Will Hernandez/Matt Peart/Nate Solder/Chad Shade/Jonotthan Harrison/Ted Larsen.
Note: The final spot could be decided between several candidates currently on the roster or perhaps an not currently on the roster. The uncertainty of the offensive line entering the 2021 season has been a hot topic as I believe their overall performance hinges on whether or not the Giants can earn a playoff spot.
Defensive Line (5): Leonard Williams/Austin Johnson/Dexter Lawrence/B. J Hill/Danny Shelton
Note: DC Patrick Graham should have a rotational system in place utilizing all players to keep them fresh. Leonard Williams should be the only DL to play a significant amount of snaps.
Inside Linebackers (4): Blake Martinez/Tae Crowder/Reggie Ragland/Carter Couglin
Note: Carter Coughlin transitioning to the inside offers more depth for the Giants as he can be utilized inside or outside.
Outside Linebackers (6):Azeez Ojulari/Lorenzo Carter/Elerson Smith/Oshane Ximines/Cam Brown/Ifeadi Odenigbo:
Note: Elerson Smith has seen limited action and my guess he won’t be sent to the practice squad to avoid being exposed through waivers as he would likely be picked up by another team. Look for him to be placed on the IR: which will keep him out the first six weeks of the season.
Cornerbacks (6): James Bradberry/Adoree Jackson/Darnay Holmes/Keion Crossen/Josh Jackson/Rodarius Williams
Note: Rookie Aaron Robinson is on PUP and if he is still there by the season opener, he’ll be eligible to return in week 7. Therefore; Rodarius Williams gets a spot with Wilson on the IR and Robinson on PUP.
Safeties (4): Jabrill Peppers/Ryan Logan/Xavier McKinney/Julius Love
Note: Arguably the best overall talent on the defensive side of the ball. Look for DC Patrick Graham to employ a 3 safety set in many of his defensive packages.
Special Teams (3)
Kicker (1): Graham Cano
Punter (1): Riley Dixon
Long Snapper (1): Casey Kreiter
Note: This group was set from the beginning.
The Giants went 0-3 in pre-season and even though this shouldn’t be a prelude of what to expect this season, there should be some concern. Many Giant fans are expecting double digit wins from this team in 2021 and there’s always a possibility it could happen, but in my opinion there is a greater chance it won’t. Make no mistake we will see some new faces added onto the roster either via the waiver wire or possibly through a trade before the season opener. Keep a close eye particularly on the offensive line and see if Dave Gettleman addresses this unit with a higher urgency than he previously has.