We are less than a week away before Pat Shurmur and the rest of the New York Giants coaching staff will have cut their roster from 90 to 53.
Throughout training camp and in the preseason, Shurmur saw his players give maximum effort and make steady progress. Following the Giants’ 25-23 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night, he was asked if making cuts this year will be more difficult than last year.
“I think so. I think that’s a good thing. You want competition within the groups,” Shurmur said on a conference call on Friday. “A year ago, we cut from 90 to 53 and there were only a couple guys that ended up on other rosters. I sort of feel like this year we may end up cutting more guys that are going to be attractive to maybe another team, which tells me that our 90 is better, and also tells me the players are embracing what we are talking about.
“The goal is to either make our team or somebody else’s. I believe in our team, I love our team, I love what our team is trying to do. It’s going to be much tougher for me this year when we get to that point, having to say goodbye to some players that I am very fond of. I’m just hopeful that they are available if we need them or somewhere they can go on and keep their career going.”
Here’s our prediction on what the Giants roster will look like.
Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, Alex Tanney
Based on the fact that Eli Manning never gets hurt, and considering how well Daniel Jones has looked in the preseason, Shurmur could roll the dice and elect to keep two quarterbacks on the roster. However, the Giants will opt to keep Alex Tanney over Kyle Lauletta. The veteran can help groom Jones on the sideline until it’s time for Jones to take the reigns from Manning.
Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Rod Smith, Eli Penny
As we all know, Barkley will be the workhorse. He may carry the ball 300 times with Gallman as the No. 2 on the depth chart and Penny as the fullback. Smith will edge out Paul Perkins for the final spot because he was acquired by the Shurmur-Gettleman regime.
Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Bennie Fowler, T.J. Jones, Darius Slayton, Brittan Golden
Prior to the injuries that ravaged the receiving corps, I thought the Giants would keep six receivers on their final roster. But with the injuries, Golden Tate’s four-game suspension and the emergence of Golden as a punt returner, don’t be surprised when the Giants will start the season with seven receivers.
Once Tate’s suspension is over, the Giants will part ways with two of the receivers on this list.
Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Scott Simonson
The Giants feel confident that Evan Engram will have a breakout year not just as a pass catcher, but they feel he’s developed into a better blocker. Due to this, the Giants will elect to keep just three tight ends on their roster despite Garrett Dickerson and C.J. Conrad having solid training camps.
Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Kevin Zeitler, Mike Remmers, Spencer Pulley, Nick Gates, Chad Slade
The starting offensive line is solidified and Pulley is a solid backup center who started nine games last season. Gates and Slade fill out the rest of the offensive line over rookie George Asafo-Adjei and Chad Wheeler despite Wheeler starting 14 games last season. He has been dealing with a bad back throughout camp which makes him a risk on the 53-man roster.
Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J Hill, Dexter Lawrence, Olsen Pierre, Chris Slayton, RJ McIntosh
The coaching staff loves the versatility and physicality of Tomlinson, Hill, and Lawrence. They could be a formidable run-stopping trio. Pierre and McIntosh have looked impressive in the preseason, and the rookie Slayton has shown enough promise to stick around.
Lorenzo Carter, Kareem Martin, Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines
Carter is poised to have a breakout season and there’s excitement surrounding Golden and Ximines about revitalizing the pass rush. Martin knows defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s system inside and out, making this one of the most intriguing units on the team in 2019.
Alec Ogletree, Tae Davis, Ryan Connelly, B.J. Goodson
Davis and Connelly have been playing with the first-team defense while Ogletree has been held out due to a calf injury. He should be ready for the season opener. Goodson seemed to be in Shurmur’s doghouse, but he’s much better against the run than Nate Stupar, which is why he’ll be the fourth inside linebacker to make the cut.
Janoris Jenkins, DeAndre Baker, Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine, Sam Beal, Antonio Hamilton, Julian Love
From top to bottom this is probably the deepest unit on the team. Jenkins and Baker have the potential to be one of the best starting tandems in the league. The emergence of sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine and fourth-round pick Julian Love, who will also see time at safety, is what makes this unit special.
Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, Michael Thomas, Sean Chandler
The addition of Bethea at free safety is the biggest upgrade the team made in the offseason. Peppers may not be the tackler that Landon Collins was, but he’s better in pass coverage. Thomas is reliable and will be ready to step in when his number is called.
Special Teams (3)
Aldrick Rosas, Riley Dixon, Zak DeOssie
Pro Bowl placekicker Aldrick Rosas, punter Riley Dixon, and long snapper Zak DeOssie round out the 53-man roster.