New York Giants: A First Glance At The 53 Man Roster

The New York Giants trimmed their roster down from 90 players to 53 players on Saturday, August 31st. It is also important to note that 31 other teams also let go of 47 players.

This could cause some shuffling on the back end of the roster throughout the next week. For now, it’s time to take a look at the initial 53 man roster:

Quarterbacks:

•Eli Manning

•Daniel Jones

•Alex Tanney

Running Backs:

•Saquon Barkley

•Wayne Gallman

•Paul Perkins

•Elijah Penny

Tight Ends:

•Evan Engram

•Rhett Ellison

•Garrett Dickerson

Wide Receivers:

•Sterling Shepard

•Cody Latimer

•Bennie Fowler

•Russell Shepard

•Darius Slayton

•Alonzo Russell

Offensive Line:

•Nate Solder

•Will Hernandez

•Jon Halapio

•Kevin Zeitler

•Mike Remmers

•Chad Slade

•Brian Mihalik

•Spencer Pulley

•Nick Gates

Defensive Line:

•Dalvin Tomlinson

•BJ Hill

•Dexter Lawrence

•RJ McIntosh

•Olsen Pierre

Linebackers:

•Lorenzo Carter

•Alec Ogletree

•Tae Davis

•Ryan Connelly

•BJ Goodson

•Nate Stupar

•Markus Golden

•Oshane Ximines

•Kareem Martin

Defensive Backs:

•Janoris Jenkins

•DeAndre Baker

•Corey Ballentine

•Grant Haley

•Julian Love

•Antonio Hamilton

•Sam Beal

•Jabrill Peppers

•Michael Thomas

•Antoine Bethea

•Sean Chandler

Special Teams:

•Aldrick Rosas

•Riley Dixon

•Zak DeOssie

Roster Construction:

3 Running Backs:

Elijah Penny could operate as the emergency 4th running back. Running back is Penny’s original position, making an extra roster spot available elsewhere on the depth chart. Keeping 1 less running back is also easier when the team possesses one of the best and youngest running backs in the league.

3 Quarterbacks:

This isn’t unusual but it’s worth noting the team’s decision to release their recent draft pick in Kyle Lauletta in favor of Alex Tanney, a career backup. This means the team didn’t expect much from Lauletta, to begin with, but they might attempt to stash him on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

5 Inside Linebackers:

This would be unheard of before James Bettcher arrived in 2018 but his 3-4 defense requires more inside linebackers than the previous 4-3 defense. Keeping 4 of them would be more typical but the team has a weakness at this position, making players like BJ Goodson and Nate Stupar hard to send packing. The team is approaching this situation with a “strength in numbers” philosophy.

5 Defensive Lineman:

This is a light unit, not even having a backup for each position on the field. The team either plans on claiming a defensive lineman in the next week or it means they feel all 5 they kept are proficient, leading to less of a need for depth. The team released John Jenkins who many thought was shining in the preseason so they might actually plan on rolling with 5 defensive linemen. This unit should be one of the strengths of the team in 2019.

11 Defensive Backs:

This is a rather large group of defensive backs but this was also one of the stronger units on the team. The only player who arguably sticks out as a potential cut-candidate is Sean Chandler. He’s currently the 5th safety and could be the first to go if the team files a claim for another player.

Other notable players to make the team are Antonio Hamilton and Sam Beal. Hamilton has bounced around a little bit but put together a solid preseason. Sam Beal was kept for his pricetag alone, he rarely participated in practice but the team used a 3rd round pick on him in the Supplemental Draft. Once this young unit gets their sea legs they’ll be one of the stronger units on this roster as well.

Feel-Good Stories:

Alonzo Russell was in the Giants camp last year and was ultimately released when it came time to close camp. This year he came back much improved and dominated in preseason games, creating separation deep down the field more often than not. He also caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Kyle Lauletta to close out the team’s undefeated preseason against the Patriots. He also proved himself as a blocker and even a tackler when needed. His hard work paid off as he made the initial 53 man roster this time.

Paul Perkins missed the entire 2018 season with a pectoral issue. With Saquon Barkley taking the league by storm throughout the season Paul Perkins seemed like a forgotten man. Perkins made the best of his situation, winning over a new coaching staff in the classroom and ultimately earning himself a second chance to make the team. He wasn’t the best reserve ball-carrier this summer but he proved his worth as a reserve pass-catching back.

Final Thoughts:

Overall the offensive unit actually appears to be in decent shape, pending which version of Eli Manning shows up in 2019. The offensive line looks much improved, the pass-catching units are less top-heavy. The running backs look good even behind Saquon Barkley. This will truly be the year Eli can’t have any excuses.

On defense, this team contains adequate talent but there will be young players on the field. Dexter Lawrence and DeAndre Baker will be starters as rookies and Julian Love will get some playing time at safety as a rookie. The entire cornerback unit is very young outside of Janoris Jenkins, rookie mistakes should be expected.

With each team being nearly chopped in half yesterday you can expect some transactions with almost every team including the New York Giants. They’ve figured out the bulk of who they’re keeping but they might tinker with the roster a little more as they get ready to prepare for the Dallas Cowboys on September 8th.

New York Giants: Options To Fill In For Golden Tate Weeks 1-4

T.J. Jones, New York Giants

The New York Giants have had a rocky training camp at the wide receiver position. They have seen multiple receivers go down with season-ending injuries. On top of that, New York’s primary receiver Sterling Shepard has been dealing with a broken thumb suffered on the first day of practice.

To make matters way worse, the Giants’ other primary receiver, Golden Tate, has been suspended for the first four weeks of the season. This leaves the Giants with a few question marks in their receiving corps. The Giants will need someone to step in for Golden Tate. Should the Giants promote someone in house or look to bring in someone new?

Free Agent Options

The Giants recently held a free-agent workout for receivers and did sign one. New York signed T.J. Jones, a former Detroit Lion. Jones has flashed during camp and looked like a solid option in the first preseason game. But, now that Golden Tate’s suspension is official, it could be beneficial for the Giants to hold another workout.

One receiver that the Giants should look into is Michael Crabtree. The veteran receiver has had a long NFL career and proved that he still has something left in the tank last year with the Baltimore Ravens. Crabtree caught 54 passes from rookie Lamar Jackson en route to 3 touchdowns and 607 yards.

Michael Crabtree’s age of 31 years-old would go a long way in filling in for Golden Tate. Tate is a veteran leader that will be sorely missed on the football field, so Crabtree would be a solid player to fulfill Golden’s role.

Another veteran free agent receiver the Giants could look into is Pierre Garcon. Garcon has not played much the last two years (eight games each season), but the Giants would only need him to perform in the first four weeks. Garcon has had a long and productive career and is a reliable receiver.

But Pierre Garcon is coming off of a pretty significant injury. Pierre’s 2018 season ended after undergoing knee surgery. The Giants would not be counting on him to survive sixteen games, just four. If the Giants are looking for a veteran receiver to fill in for a veteran receiver, Pierre Garcon would bring valuable reliability as a pass-catcher for Eli Manning.

Options On The Roster

The previously mentioned T.J. Jones has looked like a promising receiving option. He lead the team in receiving in the Giants’ first preseason game. He totaled 6 receptions on 6 targets for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. If push comes to shove and the Giants are unable to make any transactions at wide receiver, T.J. Jones could step in as a solid receiving option.

The Giants have another darkhorse receiving option on the roster. This player did not make as big of an impact against the Jets as Jones did, but he has been a playmaker throughout training camp. This player is Alonzo Russell.

Alonzo Russell has been Daniel Jones’s favorite target in training camp. He has shown serious potential in multiple instances. One of his best traits is his body. Russell is a tall receiver standing in at 6-feet-4-inches and weighing in at 206 pounds.

The Giants have copious options if they choose to add to their receiving corps. Golden Tate will miss the first four games of the season and it is crucial for the Giants to get off to a hot start this season with this year’s schedule.

New York Giants: Studs and Duds in Preseason Opener vs. Jets

T.J. Jones, New York Giants

The New York Giants opened up the 2019 campaign with a preseason 31-22 win vs. their cross-town rivals, The New York Jets. Here are the studs and duds for the Giants in their opener.

Stud: Daniel Jones

A debut that couldn’t have gone any better. I know it’s only preseason and he played against half the Jets first-team but Dave Gettleman must be smiling somewhere. Jones went a perfect 5/5 for 67 yards and a touchdown on his first and only series. His first touchdown pass was a perfectly dropped ball into the arms of Bennie Fowler in the back right corner of the end-zone. While it would have been nice to see Jones get more action, it was a great first game to build on for the highly debated draft pick.

Dud: Eli Manning

The offense heard boo’s on their first series of the preseason but that’s New York for you. It’s hard to judge Eli when he only threw the ball once but the offense just looked electric under Jones. One series won’t change him being the starter but if this becomes a pattern, uh oh.

Stud: Russell Shepard

Giants needed receivers to step up and Shepard answered the bell. The veteran took a slant from Alex Tanney 51 yards to the house. It was exactly what Pat Shurmur was hoping to see from a rattled wide receiver room. The receiving core isn’t a two-man show of Sterling Shepard and ex-Giant OBJ anymore, it’s going to be a committee.

Dud: Julian Love

The rookie DB had a tough first series; failing to communicate with Jabrill Peppers one play then getting caught in a pick play resulting in a touchdown. However, later on, he seemed to get more in a rhythm adjusting to the faster speed of the NFL. A Learning curve is going to be expected for this secondary considering Jenkins is the only returning starter.

Dud: Paul Perkins

This was Perkins opportunity to make Giants fans remember his promising rookie year but a fumble before halftime, struggling to run the ball, and add in a drop to the disappointing return. It’s surprising to see after an encouraging training camp but they play 4 preseason games for a reason.

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Stud: Alex Tanney

Tanney’s day was impressive further solidifying himself a spot on this roster. He completed 14/19 for 190 yards and 1 touchdown. He had unleashed a laser on a slant to Russell Shepard for a 51-yard touchdown and dropped a beautiful 40-yard pass to Alonzo Russell. The veteran is in the lead for the third and final QB spot behind Manning and Jones.

Stud: Alonzo Russell

Training camp stands out Alonzo Russell had a great release on a 39-yard completion from Tanney. He had another great route getting behind the Jets backups early in the third quarter what would have been a walk-in touchdown but Tanney decided to pick up the first down with his legs.

Stud: T.J. Jones

With opportunities open on the depth chart, T.J. Jones made a name for himself reeling in 6 receptions for 72 yards and an impressive one-handed back shoulder touchdown grab from Lauletta.

Other Game Notes:

-Corey Ballentine continues to impress as he made an incredible interception showing off his athleticism. He also looked like a natural returning the football. His first return was a botched catch in the end-zone as he took the touchback but followed it up with a 40-yard return on a kickoff. Ballentine returned kicks regularly at Washburn University. His stock continues to rise.

-Reggie White Jr. also contributed toward a great day for Giants wide receivers: 6 receptions for 40 yards.

-Ryan Connelly was all over the field. Bettcher loves the kid to begin with. Look for increased reps for the rookie linebacker out of Wisconsin.

-Long Island local and undrafted rookie Jake Carlock made a fantastic play batting down Jets QB Davis Webb’s pass and returning it for a 59-yard touchdown.

New York Giants: The Three Things That Excite Me Most About The First Preseason Game

It’s here! It’s finally here! Football season is back! Well, sort of.

The New York Giants will play their first preseason game tonight against the New York Jets at 7 p.m. The Giants have had an interesting offseason filled with some highs and a few very low lows. Nonetheless, the past is final and the future is yet to be determined.

Tonight will be our first look at the New York Giants’ future. There will be a lot of new faces and situations to look out for tonight. Here are the three things that excite me most about tonight’s game:

Daniel Jones To Alonzo Russell

The New York Giants made the most controversial draft pick of the 2019 NFL Draft when they decided to take quarterback Daniel Jones sixth overall. Since then, the team and Jones himself have received ungodly sums of criticism.

But for Daniel Jones, this criticism has been unwarranted. Daniel has looked great in training camp as he is on a mission to prove his doubters wrong. Along with Daniel’s strong showing in camp came a new receiving threat.

Alonzo Russell and Daniel Jones have formed a strong connection on the football field in practice. They consistently connect for big plays every practice and have both caught the attention of the press.

Alonzo Russell has been a pleasant surprise during training camp. But he is still not a lock to make the 53 man roster since the Giants have some depth at wide receiver. But a strong showing in the preseason should lock him into the final roster.

Daniel Jones’s first game action as a member of the New York Giants is tonight. This highly-anticipated moment could not come against a more interesting opponent. Jones will face off against the Jets’ own young franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold (who many believed the Giants should have drafted last year).

Expect to see Daniel Jones and Alonzo Russell connect on multiple occasions tonight.

The New Secondary

The New York Giants‘ secondary has been one of the league’s worst over the past two years. In 2017, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.4 passing yards per game (ranked 31st in the NFL). In 2018, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.8 passing yards (ranked 23rd in the NFL), showing minimal to no improvement.

The Giants fixed this problem in the 2019 NFL Draft. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). The secondary has been completely rebuilt.

So far in training camp, the Giants’ new secondary has lived up to the hype. The young cornerbacks have been making plays left and right. The Giants’ secondary might have more depth than any other position group on the roster.

DeAndre Baker was drafted at the end of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he has been a shutdown cornerback so far in training camp. But one of the biggest surprises in camp has been another cornerback. Sixth round pick Corey Ballentine has been a serious playmaker in practice.

Check out this awesome interception by Corey Ballentine on a jump ball in the end zone:

With the new additions of Ballentine, Baker, and Julian Love, and Jabrill Peppers, there is a lot to look out for in the secondary during tonight’s game. The Giants’ defense has a lot of potential thanks to all the new young defensive backs they acquired this offseasons.

Dexter Lawrence

The Giants’ second first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft was interior defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence out of Clemson. He might have been a first-round draft pick, but Lawrence is possibly the most underrated player in the Giants’ 2019 draft class.

Many initially looked at Dexter Lawrence as a two down run-stuffing nose tackle. Dexter Lawrence is so much more than that. Yes, he is a giants human being weighing over 340 pounds. And yes, he is an excellent run defender.

But Dexter Lawrence is also an excellent pass-rusher from the interior. In 2018, Dexter Lawrence totaled an impressive 33 pressures (Pro Football Focus). Dexter was often in the face of opposing quarterbacks. He also added 10 sacks in three collegiate seasons.

In fact, he was in the backfield at one of the highest percentages of the 2019 NFL Draft class. Lawrence posted a pressure percentage of 13.8%. This was the third-highest percentage in the draft class, putting him behind only Quinnen Williams and Christian Wilkins.

It will be exciting to watch Dexter Lawrence disrupt the Jets’ offense in two ways tonight, even though he will only be playing a limited amount of time.

New York Giants Practice Report, 8/2: Defensive Backs Continue To Shine

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

The New York Giants held their last open practice to the public yesterday, Friday, August 2nd, until August 6th. New York had another solid practice on Friday as they continue to prepare for the preseason.

Players Who Stood Out:

Julian Love stepped into the starting lineup as a nickel back with Grant Haley sidelined. He also ran with the second-team defense as a safety. He competed well against the first-team offense and interrupted the connection between Daniel Jones and Alonzo Russell with the second-team. 

Janoris Jenkins and Deandre Baker both had outstanding practices. They didn’t allow much separation and got their hands on the football when they were tested. 

Rhett Ellison caught a touchdown pass with the first-team and continues to look like a viable option in the passing game.

CJ Conrad continued to prove himself as a pass-catching option. Today he caught a touchdown from Kyle Lauletta in a red-zone drill. 

Camp Battles:

Alonzo Russell has earned himself some first-team reps but he was blanketed by Deandre Baker. To be fair that’s happened to other receivers in camp quite often. 

Ryan Connelly continued to get reps with the first-team defense, he rotated with Tae Davis. 

CJ Conrad earned some reps with the first-team offense and caught a pass from Eli Manning. He dropped some passes today but might’ve had some rookie nerves while rotating with the starters. 

Many thought Kyle Lauletta was a goner when the team drafted Daniel Jones but he’s been given a legitimate chance to beat out Alex Tanney for the third quarterback spot. Both have rotated with each other quite evenly. 

Bumps and Bruises:

Chad Wheeler was sidelined but didn’t appear to be dealing with anything major.

BJ Goodson participated in individual drills but wasn’t a full-go. Goodson was dealing with a hamstring injury.

Grant Haley will most likely be week to week with a shoulder sprain.

Markus Golden has been managing his workload but has missed a few practice sessions. Hopefully Golden has not suffered any setbacks during his recovery. 

Oshane Ximines was also sidelined but doesn’t appear to be dealing with anything major. 

Darius Slayton has not been able to practice yet since camp opened. Don’t expect to see him in the first preseason game on August 6th.

Significant Injuries:

Big George remains under the concussion protocol. He should be able to get cleared before the first preseason game. 

Final Thoughts:

The defense seemed to win the practice but the offense was focused on the short passing game today. Having an obvious theme to the practice probably made things easier on the defense. The New York Giants will have their next open practice to the public on August 6th, their last practice before taking on the Jets on August 8th.

New York Giants: Alonzo Russell Has Been A Pleasant Surprise During Camp

The New York Giants‘ receiving corps has taken multiple hits early on in training camp. Starting receiver Sterling Shepard broke his thumb on the first day of practice while the team’s third receiver tore his ACL on the same day. To make matters worse, newly signed starter Golden Tate has been suspended for four games.

The Giants’ receiving corps is in trouble. What was once one of the team’s strongest position groups is now a topic of comedy on Twitter. The Giants signed two receivers to help patch their new holes, but will it be enough?

Fans of the Giants may not yet know it, but there is a backup receiver on the roster that could fill in and make an impact if given the opportunity. Alonzo Russell has been looking sharp so far in training camp and his solid play could earn him a bigger role in the Giants’ offense this year.

Alonzo Russell Practice Highlights

Alonzo Russel has been a pleasant surprise during training camp so far. Russell is a sizable receiver, standing in at 6-foot-4-inches and weighing 218 pounds. He has the perfect NFL body for a receiver, but it has not amounted to much so far.

That is until this year’s training camp. It seems like 2019 could be the year that Alonzo Russell finally puts it all together. After going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, Russell has yet to see any NFL game action. But with the way he has been playing in this year’s training camp, Russell should see some snaps this year.

On the first day of practice, Alonzo made a handful of impressive plays with the third team. Many esteemed Giants reporters have been praising Russell’s play in training camp. Alonzo has been taking advantage of his extra reps since the recent receiver injuries.

Russell’s impressive play with the third team has lead him to play with Daniel Jones and the second team. The two have put together numerous highlights plays in training camp. It will be exciting to see these two connect during the preseason.

Check out this highlight play from Thursday’s practice. Russell pulls in a tough jump-ball touchdown reception off of a perfect back-shoulder fade from Daniel Jones:

The Jones To Russell Connection

Alonzo Russell is worth keeping around for the future. Not only is he an underrated talent, but he is also Daniel Jones’s favorite target. Jones has not gotten any playing time with the first team yet. But while playing with the second team, Jones and Russell have displayed a clear connection.

It will be exciting to watch these two in game-action during the preseason. If they can continue to demonstrate chemistry, then the Giants will need to hold onto Alonzo Russell and keep him around for the future whenever Daniel Jones takes over as the starting quarterback.

New York Giants Practice Report, 7/31

New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love

The New York Giants held their second consecutive practice indoors yesterday due to extreme heat and thunder, 7/31.

Players who stood out:

As much as many are craving a QB competition this is Eli’s best camp in years, maybe ever. His arm has looked fine and his consistency is sharp. He had a nice connection with Golden Tate in the intermediate areas of the field yesterday.

Alonzo Russell continues to work with the second-team offense and certainly makes enough plays to get first-team reps. So far he looks like he might actually make the team considering he is the pass catcher Daniel Jones is most in sync with early on. Today the two connected for a touchdown in the red zone during a 2-minute drill.

Oshane Ximines hasn’t gotten to the quarterback a whole lot but he gets into the backfield and batted down a Daniel Jones pass which has been a trend for 3 straight practices. His quickness looks like a handful for offensive linemen.

Antoine Bethea doesn’t seem to get beat very often leading to some quiet stretches of practice but today he intercepted a pass from Manning intended for Barkley on a wheel route. Check it out:

First and Second team cornerbacks have been active since camp opened. Jenkins and Baker are expected to produce but guys like Julian Love, Grant Haley, Sam Beal, and Corey Ballentine make a lot of plays every day. Whether it’s interceptions or deflections they have all done more good than bad in camp so far. This will be a strong unit for the first time in a while.

Golden Tate has a hard time doing much deep down the field but he’s establishing a good connection with Eli in the intermediate areas of the field. Today he made some nice grabs in tight coverage.

Lorenzo Carter looks like he’s progressed again since the pads came on a few practices ago. He got into the backfield a little more than he has in the last few days. He was potentially in range for a couple of sacks but hard to tell until there’s a quarterback he can actually hit.

Camp Battles:

Oshane Ximines might be locked into pass rusher number four duties by default. There’s not much behind him and with Markus Golden on light duty, he saw a lot of time against the first-team offense. The good news is he’s more polished than your typical 3rd round pass rusher.

Alonzo Russell continues to work with the second-team but he looks worthy of a camp battle with Bennie Fowler. He’s routinely made plays with Daniel Jones in every practice and caught a touchdown pass from Jones during a two-minute drill. Keeping a receiver that connects well with your future quarterback always sounds like a smart move.

Tae Davis seems to have a lead on BJ Goodson at this point at inside linebacker but Ryan Connelly seems like he’s determined to make this a three-way battle. Connelly was active with the second-team defense with a pass deflection and a would-be sack on Jones.

Wayne Gallman remains ahead of Rod Smith in the race for the third running back spot. Paul Perkins seems like he’s already claimed the second spot.

Bumps and Bruises:

Sterling Shepard participated in team drills, he looks like he’s playing week 1 of the regular season barring a setback.

Sam Beal worked his way back into practice and had a nice performance with a pass deflection and excellent coverage against second-team receivers. Beal looks like one of the best reserve cornerbacks in the league.

Amba Etta-Tawo couldn’t practice due to an illness.

Markus Golden isn’t injured but had an easy day to manage his workload.

Significant injuries:

Big George is still in under the concussion protocol with hopes of being cleared before the first preseason game next week.

Mark McLaurin could potentially miss the entire season with a foot fracture.

Final Thoughts:

The secondary continues to be one of the main standouts from practice every day whether it’s the first-team or second-team. James Bettcher should have all of the pieces he needs on the backend to support an aggressive defense in 2019.

New York Giants: Corey Coleman tears ACL in first training camp practice

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

Prior to New York Giants No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard fracturing his thumb midway through the first training camp practice, it was thought that Corey Coleman and Cody Latimer were battling it out for the No. 3 spot on the team.

However, it has been revealed that Coleman tore his ACL as well, sending two promising pass catchers for the Giants to the sidelines. Sterling will likely return before the start of the regular season but Coleman will miss the entire 2019 season.

After making comments of breaking out, head coach Pat Shurmur must be disappointed:

“We are going to see the best of [Coleman],” head coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s the first one to tell you when he came in the league, he had a lot to learn. Now he’s got an opportunity to maybe be a front-line player.”

This injury dampens the mood for a receiving corps that’s extremely thin behind Shepard and Golden Tate. They do have Latimer still available, but it seems rookie Darius Slayton may get more reps after the injury to Corey.

On the bright side, Shepard will not require surgery and will be watched on a week-by-week basis. Unfortunately for both pass catchers, but the better of the two will be okay, so it seems.