With the 2020 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look at a way-too-early New York Giants 55-man depth chart.
The first draft of the Joe Judge era is in the books for the New York Giants.
New York spent all 10 of their 2020 NFL Draft picks to build depth at their three positions of need: linebacker, offensive line, and secondary.
With the draft in the books, we take a look at a way-too-early 55-man depth chart that includes all 10 of New York’s 2020 selections.
(* denotes a rookie)
Starter: Daniel Jones
Reserves: Colt McCoy, Alex Tanney
Daniel Jones will enter his first full season as the Giants starting quarterback in 2020 after starting 12 games as a rookie in 2019.
New York added Colt McCoy to serve as his primary backup, but given Jones suffered an injury a year ago and can benefit from multiple veterans in the quarterback room, expect Alex Tanney to make the roster as well.
Starter: Saquon Barkley
Reserves: Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman, Jonathan Hilliman
2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley will enter his third season as the Giants starting running back and look to reach the postseason for the first time of his career.
Behind him, New York added former Patriots and Titans back Dion Lewis to serve as both a third-down back and reliable pass-catching option.
New York saw injuries to Barkley and Wayne Gallman last season, so expect both Gallman and Jonathan Hilliman to make the roster as the third and fourth running backs.
Starters: Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton
Reserves: Corey Coleman, Cody Core, Da’Mari Scott
The Giants opted to pass on drafting a wide receiver in this draft, proving they trust their group of starters in fifth-year man Sterling Sheppard, veteran Golden Tate, and 2019 rookie sensation Darius Slayton.
Behind them, some questions will need to be answered. Former first-rounder Corey Coleman could be a reliable fourth receiver if healthy but has yet to prove he can get through a full season both healthy and productive.
Cody Core will likely make the roster but serve in a special teams role while Da’Mari Scott is just a journeyman looking to make the squad as a depth piece.
Starter: Evan Engram
Reserves: Levine Toilolo, Kaden Smith
2017 first-rounder Evan Engram may be entering a make-or-break season. When healthy, Engram has put himself in the conversation as one of the top tight ends in the game, but staying on the field has been an issue. He’s yet to play a full season.
Behind Engram, the Giants added Levine Toilolo in free agency to replace the newly-retired Rhett Ellison.
Kaden Smith has the inside track for the third tight end spot after his breakout second half in 2019 that saw him haul in three touchdown passes.
Starters: LT: Nate Solder, LG: Will Hernandez, C: Spencer Pulley, RG: Kevin Zeitler, RT: Andrew Thomas*
Reserves: Matt Peart*, Shane Lemieux*, Nick Gates, Cameron Fleming
The Giants finally used multiple draft selections to upgrade the offensive line that has cost them a fair amount of games over the last eight seasons.
With the fourth overall pick, the Giants snagged the draft’s top offensive tackle, Andrew Thomas, who will slide into the starting right tackle spot. Third-round selection Matt Peart will likely start the season as a reserve but train to become Nate Solder‘s future replacement.
Inside, the Giants bring back reliable guards Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler and added Oregon’s Shane Lemieux as depth.
The remaining question is at the center position. Veteran Spencer Pulley would likely start if the season began today, but coach Judge told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News that they would cross-train Lemieux at both center and offensive guard; thus, he could be a name to watch when the Giants name a starting center.
Defense (3-4 scheme)
Starters: LDE, Dexter Lawerence, NT Dalvin Tomlinson, RDE, Leonard Williams
Reserves: B.J. Hill, Austin Johnson, RJ McIntosh
Assuming Patrick Graham maintains the Giants 3-4 defensive scheme, New York’s starting defensive line will likely remain unchanged.
Dexter Lawrence, who was among the highest-rated rookies in 2019, will likely start at the left end spot with Dalvin Tomlinson in the middle and franchise-tagged Leonard Williams will man the left-end position.
Off the bench, B.J Hill will likely serve as the Giants’ main rotational lineman as he can play both inside and on the edge. Newly-signed Austin Johnson showed promise during his time with Tennessee while 2018 draft pick RJ McIntosh finally saw the field towards the end of the 2019 season.
Starters: WLB, Kyler Fackrell, LILB Ryan Connelly, RILB, Blake Martinez, SLB, Lorenzo Carter
Reserves: Oshane Ximines, David Mayo, Cameron Brown*, Carter Coughlin*, T.J. Brunson*, Tae Crowder*
The Giants’ new-look group of linebackers should be a major upgrade from the past few seasons.
Newly-added Kyler Fackrell, who recorded 10.5 sacks in 2018 will likely start at the weak-side linebacker spot with Lorenzo Carter at strong-side linebacker.
Inside, the Giants will have Ryan Connelly, who grabbed two interceptions in four games, returning from injury and the newly-added tackle machine Blake Martinez.
Off the bench, the Giants have returners on the outside in Oshane Ximines and inside with David Mayo. The team also invested in several late-round pieces that have real chances to make the roster.
Cameron Brown has an impressive tape from his Penn State days, Carter Coughlin made 22.5 sacks in four-years at Minnesota while T.J. Brunson and Tae Crowder both served as starting middle linebackers in the Southeastern Conference.
Starters: CB1: James Bradberry, SS: Jabrill Peppers, FS: Xavier McKinney*, CB2: Deandre Baker
Reserves: Julian Love, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Darnay Holmes*, Dravon Askew-Henry, Chris Williamson*
Like the offensive line and linebacker position, the Giants invested both cash and draft capital to upgrade their secondary this offseason.
The team signed a legitimate top corner in James Bradberry, who will pair with 2019 first-rounder Deandre Baker, who slowly improved throughout his rookie season.
At safety, the Giants return Jabrill Peppers and stole the draft’s top-ranked safety in Xavier McKinney, who will likely start at the free-saftey spot.
The Giants will have plenty have slot corner and reserve options such as returners Julian Love, Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine and the newly signed Dravon Askew-Henry.
New York also drafted UCLA speedster Darnay Holmes for both cornerback depth and special teams play and took a flyer on Minnesota corner Chris Williamson in the seventh round.
Kicker: Aldrick Rosas
Punter: Riley Dixon
Long Snapper: Casey Kreiter
Kick Returner (s): Darnay Holmes* and Corey Ballentine
Punt Returner: Golden Tate
Special Teams Ace: Nate Ebner
The Giants special-teams unit will look slightly different in 2020. New York will bring back former pro-bowl kicker Aldrick Rosas and punter Riley Dixon but for the first time since 2007, will have a different long-snapper.
The team chose not to re-sign two-time Super Bowl champion Zak DeOssie. Instead, replacing him with 2018 pro-bowler Casey Kreiter. Micheal Thomas also will not return as the team’s special teams ace. Former Patriot Nate Ebner was recently signed to fill that void.
Finally, Golden Tate should again return punts while the kick returning duties will likely be split between rookie Darnay Holmes and second-year man Corey Ballentine.