The New York Giants released their first unofficial depth chart of the year, and as always, it will be surrounded in speculation. After all, it’s less than a week before the preseason opener, and we finally have an idea of the team that will take the field against the Browns.
Who made the cut for the first team, and who is left with the backups? Let’s take a look at a few position groups from the new depth chart and find out.
The New York Giants’ Offensive Line:
This section of the offense is going to get a lot of attention, for good reason. The Giants were lacking in this department last season, and the changes to the line have been in the works since before the draft. There were a few position battles for certain spots in the revamped lineup, but those should be mostly resolved headed into the last few days before the preseason kickoff.
From left to right, the listed first teamers are Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Patrick Omaneh, and Ereck Flowers. The last player on that list is perhaps the one that had the most interesting position battle, as Flowers entered the offseason with a very unpopular standing with the fans. Furthermore, the team attempted to trade him during the NFL Draft. Now, Flowers is listed as the starting right tackle after Chad Wheeler fell short competing for the spot.
Whether that’s because of a good Flowers or a bad Wheeler remains to be seen, and the right tackle position could very well have a competition again if Flowers slips back into his old form.
One of the most interesting newcomers to the lineup is Will Hernandez. The second round draft pick had high expectations, and managed to meet them by winning the job at left guard straight away. He’ll play opposite of another new addition, former Jaguars right guard Patrick Omaneh. With Solder, Hernandez, and Omaneh all being new members of the team, it will be interesting to see if the offensive line plays with cohesion in their opening game.
The Wide Receivers:
Most of the wide receiver depth chart features the names that you would expect. Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham Jr. are the main starters, just as everyone expected. Cody Latimer is also one of the main options, and is listed directly behind Shepard on the depth chart. The former Broncos receiver might surprise some people this year, after more than doubling his production last season and becoming more than a special teams player.
The player listed behind Odell Beckham Jr, however, is a little more interesting. Hunter Sharp is another former Bronco, but his name isn’t as familiar as Latimer’s. He joined the Giants last December and actually caught a touchdown pass in week 17. He didn’t enter this season with much pressure or expectations, but he beat Roger Lewis and Russell Shepard for the spot behind Beckham on the depth chart. Will he hold it for long? Well, that depends on whether or not he can make his presence known with whatever reps he gets against Cleveland.
The Defensive Line:
The three starters on the defensive line are Dalvin Tomlinson, Damon Harrison, and B.J. Hill. Two of those names are experienced veterans. The other one, not so much. The Giants could get good value out of the B.J. Hill pick if his production on the field begins this early in his career. Hill, of course, is still only a rookie and a third round pick at that. Many fans believed he would need more developmental time before stepping into the lineup.
Josh Mauro’s four game PED suspension changes things, and gives Hill a chance to step in immediately. He’s made a fast transition to the Giants, despite playing in a 4-3 defense at NC State, and he’ll have his chance to prove on the field why he should keep that spot over the others who are competing for it.
The Giants front three will be due for an exciting matchup with Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson Jr, and Nick Chubb. The Browns may be an underrated team at running back this year, and out of those three players, at least one of them should offer a challenge to the Giants defense. Facing a Browns offensive line that has also been shuffled over the offseason, there should definitely be chances for this position group to make plays.