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: 3 players that could somehow survive the roster cut

New York Giants, Paul Perkins

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.

New York Giants: 3 surprise roster cut candidates

New York Giants linebacker, B.J. Goodson.

The New York Giants are inching closer to their final preseason game of the year against the New England Patriots. While that’s a great thing for fans patiently waiting for the start of the regular season, fringe-roster players are still playing for their livelihoods.

Here are three surprise cuts for the New York Giants:

1.) CB Sam Beal

The Giants’ Supplemental Draft pick from 2018 has yet to play in a regular-season game let alone a preseason matchup this year. He missed all of his rookie season with a predisposed shoulder injury that required surgery. Now that his shoulder is healed, his hamstring has been acting up.

His lack of experience in a live-action setting could force the Giants to cut him and allocate the roster spot towards a player with actual, proven value. This would undoubtedly be a surprise but justifiable.

2.) LB B.J. Goodson

At this point in Goodson’s career, he seems to be losing value with every passing day. Injuries have hurt his development and consistency, and Ryan Connelly, the rookie out of Wisconsin, has taken full advantage of that.

Connelly has been working with the starting team in the absence of Alec Ogletree, and Goodson has been seeing time with the second and third-string defense. His influence last year isn’t noteworthy, and it seems as if his time as a Giant could be coming to an end. The only reason head coach Pat Shurmur would keep him around is because of the lack of depth at the linebacker position and his familiarity with DC James Bettcher’s scheme.

3.) RB Paul Perkins

With 546-yards rushing to his name, Perkins is a glorified scat-back. His minimal power and high injury risk make him a waste of a roster spot. This might not be a surprise cut, but his value is next to none on a Giants team with plenty of talent at the running back position.

Behind Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman, Perkins and Rod Smith have been battling it out for a third-string roster spot. Smith is the more wise choice that can help Gallman and Barkley refine the mental aspects of their game, which makes him a more valuable option.

Perkins once had a ton of potential, but his production would come from the passing game, and the Giants don’t need him with Barkley and Gallman more than capable of succeeding in that facet.

New York Giants: Ranking the best and worst unit for the 2019 season

New York Giants, Alec Ogletree

The New York Giants are flush full of youth on their roster and have plenty of talent for the expected success in the near future. The issue is, with youthfulness comes inexperience, which could cause deficiencies and difficulties against opposing starting units.

 Here are the strongest and weakest units for the New York Giants:

The strongest group: Running backs

Saquon Barkley alone solidifies the running back corps, but their depth is also incredibly durable. The only real competition happening in this group is for the No. 3 RB spot, which is being fought over by Paul Perkins and Rod Smith. Wayne Gallman is the assumed No. 2 option given his familiarity with the Giants’ scheme and Eli Manning.

Smith has been plagued by fumbles and Perkins hasn’t played a game in quite some time. He has looked decent in the pass-game but his running ability to limited due to his lack of strength and power. He’s more of a glorified scat-back, and Gallman can operate in that fashion as well if need be.

I believe Saquon and Gallman will be the top dogs during the 2019 season but as Smith’s seniority and experience will likely earn him the last spot on the roster over Perkins, who hasn’t shown enough to stay around.

The weakest unit: The linebackers

The middle of the defense for the Giants is entirely in disarray. The idea of Ryan Connelly as the starting linebacker isn’t comforting, even though he’s looked good in limited action this preseason. It seems as if Tae Davis will be the “money backer” in DC James Bettcher’s scheme and Alec Ogletree, who has missed all of preseason with a strained calf will be the inside linebacker.

Connelly is set to be Ogletree’s backup in the middle, but if the veteran is forced to miss anytime, the Wisconsin product could find himself starting against the Dallas Cowboys week one in Arlington. An intimidating task for a mere rookie. In three games played, Connelly has eight total tackles, five being solo. He has shown the ability to shoot the gap very quickly but needs to work on his angles and tackling ability.

While he misses on this play, you can see his athleticism and speed from a stand-still position. That’s angle-work and will be refined through trial and error.

Despite his promise, the Giants are thin at the linebacker position and need their veterans to step up and perform. Health will be a concern here, and if Ogletree is forced to miss any time, Connelly will be the next-man-up.

New York Giants: New Undrafted Rookie Added To The Backup Running Back Competition

The New York Giants are still organizing their roster heading into the third week of the preseason. Their running back position is locked in with Saquon Barkley as the starter. Barkley lead the league in scrimmage yards last year with 2,028 yards en route to winning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Behind Saquon Barkley, things are not as set in stone. There was a three-way competition for the second-string running back position, but this competition has now grown to a four-way.

Initially, the job battle was between Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins, and Rod Smith. All three have flashed their potential but also shown great weaknesses. Now, a new back has been added to the mix. Jonathan Hilliman competed hard in the Giants’ second preseason game and could make a push to remain on the roster this season.

Jonathan Hilliman Stats and Highlights:

Jonathan Hilliman was a locally signed undrafted free agent who finished his collegiate career at Rutgers. Hilliman’s first three years were spent at Boston College. Jonathan totaled 1715 rushing yards through his four-year career with an average of 3.5 yards per carry and 19 rushing touchdowns.

These are not overly impressive stats from Jonathan Hilliman, but he flashed enough potential for the Giants to sign him after the draft. And now, after an impressive first preseason game, Hilliman has flashed enough to propel himself into the conversation to make the final roster.

Hilliman received a team-high 16 carries on Friday night versus the Bears. Hilliman continued his average 3.5 yards per carry as he went on to total 56 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown. Jonathan lead the Giants in rushing yards and flashed his elusiveness a couple of times.

Jonathan Hilliman’s touchdown rush was a perfect example of what Hilliman does best. He is a shifty runner who can jump cut and slither his way through the holes to get into the end zone.

Hilliman played an impressive game, especially for his NFL debut. But this does not lock him in on the roster. He lead the team in rushing yards and carries, but his average yards per carry was only third of the runners. Paul Perkins averaged 5.8 yards per carry and Rod Smith averaged 4.2 yards per carry.

So it was a fantastic debut for the New Jersey native Hilliman, but he has a long ways to go and tough competition to win if he wants to be on the Giants’ roster in September.

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: Stock Up, Stock Down After Preseason Week one

The New York Giants played their first preseason game of the 2019 season Thursday night. The Giants faced off against the little brother New York Jets in a so-called “Snoopy Bowl.” The Giants won the game 31-22.

The Giants looked good in their first preseason game, but of course, some players looked better than others. There were some surprises, some players who lived up to the hype, and some players who disappointed. Those who delivered will see their “stock” rise. Those who did not will see it fall.

Stock Up:

Daniel Jones

Tthe Giants’ sixth overall pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, Daniel Jones, made his highly anticipated debut in the first quarter of Thursday’s game. Daniel Jones absolutely lived up to the hype.

Jones only played one possession, but he impressed just about every fan and analyst he could with that one possession. Daniel threw five passes and completed all five of them for 67 yards and 1 touchdown.

The rookie capped off the impressive drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone to Bennie Fowler. Check out every pass from Daniel’s awesome debut below:

Daniel Jones’s impressive play gives Giants fans hope and is his first step at proving the doubters wrong. If he keeps this up, we could see a serious quarterback competition form. Major stock up for young Danielson.

Jake Carlock

The Long Island native outside linebacker Jake Carlock had an impressive first NFL game on Thursday. The undrafted rookie came away with one sack and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.

Carlock was a longshot to make the roster, but after an electric performance against the Jets, it looks like Jake could be a darkhorse depth player to make the roset. Obviously, he will need to prove this was not just a fluke, but what an excellent performance from a little-known rookie! Stock up.

Stock Down

Paul Perkins

Paul Perkins was a player that many were excited to see prior to Thursday’s matchup. The forgotten running back has had a solid training camp and reminded people why he was once a starter on this team.

Unfortunately, this did not carry into Thursday’s preseason outing. Perkins carried the ball 4 times, gaining only 9 yards. To make matters worse, Paul Perkins fumbled after catching a short pass in the second quarter.

Perkins’s poor play hurts his chances of making the team. He will need to bounce back from this and have an impressive outing next week in order to secure a roster spot. Cuts are coming up so players need to get on their A-game as soon as possible. This is especially true for Perkins. He might have fumbled the second-string running back job away tonight.

Julian Love

The Giants’ secondary was completely rebuilt this offseason and this generated a lot of excitement heading into the first preseason game.

One rookie defensive back in particular that Giants fans were excited about was Julian Love. Unfortunately, Love did not have a great game on Thursday. Julian made some communication mistakes and got beat a couple of times early in the contest.

The Jets’ touchdown on their opening drive came against Julian Love and DeAndre Baker:

Granted, it is only the first preseason game. There is not too much to worry about with Julian Love. Just, maybe Giants fans should scale back their expectations a bit. These guys are rookies, they are still getting acclimated to the NFL. It takes time.

On a more encouraging note, Julian Love did bounce back later in the game with a nice pass breakup: