The clock is ticking for the New York Giants as they gear up to finalize their 53-man roster by 4 PM on Tuesday. The final preseason game against the New York Jets saw some late-stage position battles, especially in the safety department.
Rookie Gervarrius Owens Secures a Spot
In a competition brimming with potential, seventh-round rookie Gervarrius Owens has seemingly earned himself a coveted roster spot, edging out UDFA Alex Cook.
- The Giants’ struggling run defense needs to step it up against the 49ers
- Giants: Who will take over in the backfield with Saquon Barkley injured?
- The Giants need this veteran defensive lineman to play better
A Closer Look at Owens’ Credentials
Standing at an imposing 6’5″ and weighing 195 pounds, Owens scored the fifth-highest athleticism rating at this year’s NFL Combine. He’s a former standout from Houston, where he not only served as a team captain but also gained four years of experience as a starting free safety. He has also flexed his versatility by playing as a big nickel cornerback.
Versatility That the Giants Are Betting On
Owens brings a range of skills to the table, able to step into the slot and act as a hard-hitting defender when needed. His versatile skill set is something the Giants are keenly interested in, as it adds a dynamic layer to their defensive strategy.
Preseason Performance Despite Injury
Though Owens suffered an injury in the final preseason game, he is expected to be game-ready in the coming weeks. During the preseason, he clocked 126 snaps—48 in run defense, 15 as a rusher, and 63 in coverage. His stats included three pressures, nine tackles, and five stops while allowing just 8 yards in coverage over four targets. He also achieved two pass break-ups and maintained a 25% reception rate.
Owens’ Future Impact and Giants’ Defensive Strategy
As a rookie, Owens will likely make his initial impact on special teams. However, he’s a promising developmental asset who could eventually secure a starting role. Currently, the Giants are planning to feature Jason Pinnock at strong safety and Xavier McKinney at free safety. McKinney, however, is in a contract year. Should the Giants opt to move on, Owens could potentially step in as a cost-effective alternative — of course, the talent difference is substantial.