New York Giants have added 25 new faces to the team’s 90-man roster as they get ready for the 2023-24 season. GM Joes Schoen addressed the areas of weakness that plaque the team in 2022 by focusing on the both sides of trenches, the wide receiver and cornerback positions. With all these additions, it should make for a highly competitive training camp. Let’s look at my top 3 positions on each side of the ball to watch for.
Wide Receiver: The Giants have added six players at the wide receiver position that weren’t part of the team in 2022 at all. This group is highlighted by 3rd round selection Jalin Hyatt out of Tennessee who is expected to make an immediate impact in 2023. Another player who is getting a lot of buzz is Bryce Ford-Wheaton who the Giants signed as a UDFA. Ford-Wheaton has the size and speed that could make him a diamond in the rough; which was evident by the large bonus he received. These are two players I will definitely keep an eye on in training camp.
Offensive Line: GM Joe Schoen only added two players at the offensive line position and both are centers in 2nd round pick John Michael Schmitz and free agent signee J.C Hassenauer. JMS is expected to be a day 1 starter as Hassenauer will compete for a spot on the roster as he can also play guard. Notable players to watch are Shane Lemieux, who could be in danger of making the final roster and Evan Neal, who needs to take a big step in 2023 and anchor the right tackle spot.
Running Back: With the Saquan Barkley saga still in limbo beyond the 2023 season. The Giants drafted an elusive and productive back out of Oklahoma named Eric Gray. Gray should provide added insurance should the Giants fail to re-sign Barkley to a new deal. However, I expect to see a lot of snaps with these two players on the field at the same time.
Interior Defensive Line: The Giants run defense in 2022 was poor, allowing 146 yards per game. GM Joe Schoen brought in three new faces to add bulk to the run defense with the signing of Rakeem Nunez-Roches, A’Shawn Robinson and draftee Jordon Riley. Rookie Jordon Riley will have an uphill battle earning a roster spot as he will need to beat out players such as: Ryder Anderson, DJ Davidson, Vernon Butler.
Edge: Many football analyst were somewhat shocked that the Giants didn’t address the edge position during the draft as the Giants only added one edge rusher and it was during the UDGA phase. Habakkuk Baldonado out of Pittsburgh was signed by Joe Schoen to add more depth to a position that certainly needed it. The Giants are hopeful that Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari can stay healthy for the majority of the season to make an impact in the sack department. Aside from Baldonado to keep an eye on in training camp, I think we could see Tomon Fox take a solid step up and give the team a boost as a pass rusher.
Cornerback: The Giants brought in five new faces at the cornerback positions highlighted by 1st round pick Deonte Banks out of Maryland. Banks is projected a day 1 starter at the CB2 spot and should provide the Giants with immediate production. Another rookie to keep an eye on is Tre Hawkins out of Old Dominion (6th Round) who has the length and physicality to win a spot on the roster as a special team player. Also the Giants are expected 2nd year player Cordale Flott and free agent signee Amani Oruwariye to see significant roles in 2023. On the flip side, Aaron Robinson, Rodarius Williams and Darnay Holmes will have their work cut out for them if they want to make the final roster.