The New York Giants released their first unofficial depth chart ahead of the first preseason game against the New York Jets on Saturday. With the team enjoying a great experience at MetLife during Fan-Fest, coining the first fan engagement since before COVID-19, spirits are high, and excitement is brewing.
While the depth chart has a few interesting placements, there’s still plenty of time for players to change the course of their off-season.
Three takeaways from New York Giants’ unofficial depth chart:
1.) David Sills listed ahead of CJ Board, Austin Mack, and Damion Wills
One of the standout players for the Giants thus far has been David Sills, who broke his leg last year, ending his preseason early. Sills was a stand-out during training camp in 2020, and once again, he’s proving to be a solid receiver, especially in the red zone. During live drills in the RZ, Sills has hauled in five touchdown passes, with a number of them coming from quarterback Daniel Jones.
David spent the majority of his off-season following Jones around the country, working hard to create chemistry and perfect timing. Clearly, that is paying off in a big way during camp.
“Basically this guy followed Daniel around the country,” Giants coach Joe Judge said of Sills, per Art Stapleton of NJ.com. “Wherever Daniel was, he was going to be there to catch passes. That’s someone who you can tell has really invested in himself to get every shot he has.”
Judge loves players who invest in themselves and spend extra time refining their craft. Based on that alone, I would say Sills is on the fast track to earning a spot on the 53 man roster. If he can contribute on special teams, Judge will have a hard time moving on from him and his work ethic.
“He’s making a lot of plays for us,” Judge said. “He’s doing a good job, he comes out, works hard every day. Sills is a guy who does everything you ask and he does it 100 percent.”
2.) Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines listed as projected starters at OLB
The Giants added tons of outside linebacker support this off-season, but they listed two familiar faces as the projected starters ahead of the first preseason game. Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines, who was activated off the PUP less this week as the starters, have Azeez Ojulari and Trent Harris behind them.
Carter is coming off a torn Achilles and Ximines a shoulder injury that ended his season, but they have the most experience at the position. The expectation is that Ojulari will earn significant reps to open the year, given his success last season in the SEC.
Having more depth at the position will prove to be beneficial in 2021, as the Giants were forced to rely on seventh-round pick Carter Coughlin and practice squad player Jabaal Sheard as their primary outside linebackers in 2020. Based on the fact this depth chart is unofficial, it’s not surprising to see Ximines slotter it in as the starter.
3.) Tae Crowder listed as starting WLB next to Blake Martinez
When the Giants drafted Tae Crowder with the final pick in the 2020 NFL draft, nobody expected he would be vying for starting snaps just one year later. The Giants have Crowder listed as the starter opposite Blake Martinez. Not much has been said about the former Georgia stand-out this training camp, but he showed flashes of adequacy as a pass coverage linebacker and run stopper during his rookie season. He collected 40 total tackles, 18 stops and allowed 283 yards. Over 210 covered snaps, he didn’t give up a single score, which is a positive sign.
Behind Crowder, the Giants have Devante Downs and TJ Brunson. I wouldn’t expect either to dislodge him from the starting spot, putting Crowder in an advantageous position to open the year as the primary weak side linebacker.