The New York Giants and head coach Pat Shurmur have plenty of difficult decisions to make on Saturday before the roster cut deadline. At 4 PM, the roster must be cut down to the final 53-men.
There are a plethora of players fighting for their lives to ensure they earn a spot on the active team, and some of them will be left without a job and looking to latch on elsewhere.
Three New York Giants players that could survive the deadline:
1.) RB Paul Perkins
Fourth-year running back Paul Perkins is fighting to earn another chance with the Giants. Having been injured all of last season, he certainly doesn’t hold any advantage or leverage.
Perkins was thought to be the future for the Giants at running back after he rushed for 456 yards and average 4.1 yards per carry during his rookie season. His elusiveness and ability to make tacklers miss in open space provided optimism for the team moving forward.
The 24-year-old is coming off a season where he tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights. This opened the door for general manager Dave Gettleman to draft Saquon Barkley and inject him into an offense that badly needed a star running back. However, Perkins can still be of use in a limited fashion. While he’s not the most productive runner in the “I” formation, he’s a solid back in regards to running back screens and pitch plays. He is currently battling it out with Rod Smith for the reserve back spot behind Barkley and Wayne Gallman.
Acting as a glorified scar-back, Perkins can still be of use. Smith has had serious fumbling issues this off-season and is losing ground with every passing day. The final preseason game against the New England Patriots will be very telling of what is to come on Saturday.
2.) LB Josiah Tauaefa
The undrafted linebacker out of Texas-San Antonio has been a revelation for the Giants defense this preseason. While his name hasn’t been called frequently, that is likely because he has featured towards the end of games when the second and third stringers have already taken over.
PFF graded him with an 86 .8 rating, the seventh-highest grade for rookies so far. He has earned 12 total tackles, one sack, and a special teams tackle throughout the preseason.
Looking a lot like Troy Polamalu (physically), Josiah seems to have a chip on his shoulder and is fighting for an opportunity to play with the Giants. While it is unlikely he earns a roster spot, he could be a practice squad body for the time being.
He has made waves and should earn more reps in the final preseason game against New England. Again, his performance will be very telling and give the Giants brass a better understanding of what he has to offer during the 2019 season.
3.) WR Reggie White Jr.
If Reggie White Junior manages to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, there is one specific play that could have earned him the role. The Monmouth product has above average ball skills, and he has shown that during the preseason with 100-yards receiving over six receptions.
Daunting the No.13 jersey, formerly owned by Odell Beckham Jr., White Jr. has high expectations for himself and what he can accomplish with the Giants moving forward. In addition to his past catching skills, he has also made an impact on the special-teams unit, providing a fundamental block that sprung Brittan Golden on a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“I loved the catch, don’t get me wrong,” White told NorthJersey.com. “But that block on the punt return, that’s the kind of play I know I need to make in order to make the team. I have to show that I can be valuable in everything I do, and that was a lot of fun, getting to celebrate in the end zone with Golden and everything, all about team right there. That’s a memory I won’t forget, and I think it shows I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”
Overall, the Giants are thin at wide receiver and being that White Jr. has shown plenty in terms of value this preseason, he deserves to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. However, the final preseason game should give him the push he needs to get over the hump if the Giants brass aren’t entirely sold on his abilities.