Linebacker David Mayo showing Giants he’s a keeper

New York Giants, David Mayo

Despite spending seven of their ten 2019 draft picks on defensive players, the New York Giants will still be seeking defensive help and upgrades in the upcoming offseason. They will likely add players at all three levels and could possibly have a new defensive coordinator running things in 2020.

That aside, which players on the roster are in danger of losing their roster/starting spots after this season? I’m not expecting them to continue on with 35-year old Antoine Bethea at safety and Alec Ogletree at inside linebacker. No one is sure yet if the Giants will throw good money after and sign Leonard Williams to a lucrative extension. He hasn’t shown he’s worth the top dollar he’ll be asking for.

The linebacker spots could all be filled by internal candidates. Markus Golden is a free agent the Giants could try to sign before free agency begins in March. He leads the team in sacks (7.5) and QB hits (17) and could be lost in free agency, especially if his mentor, James Bettcher, is let go as the team’s defensive coordinator.

It’s a good bet the Giants will try Ryan Connelly in one of the inside linebacker roles next year. Connelly was coming on as a rookie this year before tearing up his knee in Week 4 against the Redskins. Oshane Ximines, another rookie, could see his snaps increase over the last four games. The Giants spent a third round pick on Ximines but have not yet found where and when to use him exactly. He is third wheel at OLB behind Golden and Lorenzo Carter.

Speaking of Carter, he’s been a tad bit of a disappointment thus far in his first 28 games in Blue. It’s possible they up Ximines’ playing time and reduce Carter’s to see how the rookie performs. All of this could be moot if the Giants bring back Golden and somehow end up with Ohio State’s Chase Young in the first round of the draft.

One player who the Giants will be looking to stay in business with is inside linebacker David Mayo, who was picked up after the roster cut deadline and has ended up starting nine games for the Giants at inside linebacker after Connelly’s injury.

Mayo has been one of the Giants’ most aggressive players and has been equally productive. Is he a starter? Probably not, but he’s an excellent special teams player and a guy who has shown he’s worth a roster spot.

Mayo was drafted by current Giants GM Dave Gettleman during his time in the same position with the Carolina Panthers in 2015. Mayo signed with the San Francisco 49ers this year but was cut during the final roster trim down on September 1.