Brian Daboll
Syndication: The Record

Training camps and the 2022 NFL preseason are approaching, which means teams will need to eventually cut their rosters down to 53 for the regular season sooner rather than later.

The Giants don’t have incredible depth at a number of spots, so formulating a Week 1 final roster could be a challenge. Nevertheless, head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen will need to find the right guys to suit up for the season-opener and beyond.

Which players will make the roster later this summer? Which could see their Giants tenures come to an unfortunate end? Here is our pre-training camp projection:

Quarterback (2): Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor.

Jones and Taylor are locks to make the roster. This is the former’s final year to prove he’s the franchise’s future, while Schoen signed Taylor to a two-year deal as an insurance policy and potential bridge plan should Jones not pan out.

Davis Webb could fight for a roster spot but it’s tough to believe the Giants will be keeping three quarterbacks on the active roster all at once. Expect Webb to be an addition to the practice squad.

Running back (4): Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, Antonio Williams.

The Giants are committed to paying Barkley a guaranteed fifth-year salary of $7.2 million. They also brought in the speedy Breida this offseason to take some of the pressure off Barkley.

Brightwell has special teams value and showed it during his rookie campaign last year. As for Williams, he worked with Daboll in Buffalo and should have enough experience within the offense to provide value.

Wide receiver (6): Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, Richie James, C.J. Board.

Golladay is making $18 million a year, so he isn’t going anywhere. And the Giants are still trying to bank off the great versatility of Toney. Robinson, on the other hand, is a rookie second-rounder who should see a legitimate offensive role while the Giants believe Shepard can make a comeback from last December’s Achilles tear (Schoen brought Shepard back on a restructured contract this offseason).

James and Board’s special teams value should give them an edge over Darius Slayton, who doesn’t provide much in that facet of the game and hasn’t consistently produced since his promising 2019 rookie campaign. Cutting Slayton would additionally save the Giants $2.5 million, so expect them to consider the move to address their lingering salary cap issues.

Tight end (3): Ricky Seals-Jones, Jordan Akins, Daniel Bellinger.

Upon letting Evan Engram walk in free agency, the Giants acquired Seals-Jones and paired that move with the signing of Akins, who caught 114 balls for 1,260 yards during his four-year stint with the Texans.

Bellinger could also be a steal of a draft pick — the Giants took him in the fourth round out of San Diego State, where he recorded 31 receptions for 357 yards in 11 games last year.

Offensive tackle (4): Andrew Thomas, Evan Neal, Matt Gono, Josh Ezeudu.

The Giants could potentially carry four tackles on the roster to provide the necessary depth behind Thomas and Neal, who are expected to start at left and right tackle. Ezeudu is a lock to make the roster after Schoen chose him with a third-round pick. This current regime additionally signed Gono back in March, so it’s safe to assume the Giants believe he could add value to the roster.

Offensive guard/center (5): Mark Glowinski, Jon Feliciano, Shane Lemieux, Marcus McKethan, Max Garcia.

Depth will be key for the Giants on the interior of the offensive line.

Glowinski (signed to a three-year deal), Feliciano (signed to a one-year deal), and McKethan (rookie drafted in the fifth round) are locks. Lemieux was not a product of this current regime but has enough talent to compete for the starting left guard job. At the same time, Garcia’s experience in the league could provide him with an edge in roster spot battles.

Nick Gates is a notable name missing from the list. He’s rehabbing from a gruesome leg injury that ended his 2021 season in Week 2. He will likely be on the physically unable to perform list to start the year, and it’s very unclear if and when he’ll return to an NFL gridiron.

Defensive line (5): Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Justin Ellis, D.J. Davidson, David Moa.

Retaining five defensive linemen would be reasonable — the coaching staff will likely rotate guys in to keep legs fresh.

Barring a wild preseason trade or injury, Williams is making the team with his $21 million-a-year salary. The Giants also see a lot of value in Lawrence given they exercised his fifth-year option back in April, and they also signed Ellis to a one-year deal and drafted Davidson in the fifth round.

Moa will need to impress onlookers to make the team but has showed enough promise to remain with the Giants up to this point.

Outside linebacker (5): Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Quincy Roche, Elerson Smith, Jihad Ward.

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale runs a very blitz-heavy scheme, which is why the Giants may carry up to five outside linebackers for their 3-4 system. Thibodeaux and Ojulari will be the top two options barring injuries, while Roche flashed potential with Big Blue last year (38 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks in 14 games).

Smith has upside and could find himself as a down lineman whenever the Giants switch to a 4-3 set. Ward has experience in Martindale’s defense from his time with the Baltimore Ravens (2019-20), so he also has an edge.

Linebacker (5): Blake Martinez, Tae Crowder, Cam Brown, Micah McFadden, Darrian Beavers.

Martinez and Crowder should be the two starting inside linebackers in a 3-4 scheme. Schoen restructured the contract of the former and the latter has enough experience within two seasons to make a case for legitimate playing time.

McFadden and Beavers should also make the team after Schoen drafted them in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively.

Brown offers great special teams value and was one of the Giants’ top special teamers just a year ago. The return of special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey should help Brown make the team in his third NFL season.

Cornerback (7): Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson, Cordale Flott, Maurice Canady, Khalil Dorsey, Darnay Holmes, Michael Jacquet.

The cornerback position will have the most depth of all the roster spots given the team’s inexperience at the position.

Jackson may not be a true No. 1 corner in this league but will certainly need to play like one after the Giants dumped James Bradberry in May. Robinson should compete for the other starting boundary corner job while Flott and Holmes could work out of the slot.

Canady, Dorsey, and Jacquet were all offseason acquisitions of this current regime, so expect them to have an edge in the fight for roster spots.

Safety (4): Xavier McKinney, Julian Love, Dane Belton, Jarren Williams.

McKinney and Love will likely be the two starting safeties within Martindale’s defense. But the inexperience in the Giants secondary may force the coaching staff to keep two more.

The rookie Belton (fourth-rounder out of Iowa) is a lock to make the roster. While the same can’t be totally said of Williams, Schoen saw enough value to re-sign him in March.

Specialists (3): K Graham Gano, P Jamie Gillan, LS Casey Kreiter.

Gano is one of the Giants’ top players (seriously), Gillan doesn’t have much competition for the starting punter job, and Kreiter has been a damn good long snapper since joining the team in 2020. Expect all three to definitely make the team.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.