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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
John Fennelly

2023 Giants 53-man roster projection: Post-draft edition

The New York Giants have completed their second draft under general manager Joe Schoen and the depth chart has gotten deeper and more talented.

Brian Daboll was named the NFL Coach of the Year in his first season last year and his offensive and defensive coordinators (Wink Martindale, Mike Kafka) are both returning.

Here’s a breakdown by unit and what to possibly expect as they head toward the 2023 season. The are a few overages as injuries are likely to happen to between now and the beginning of the season.

Quarterback (2)

Starter: Daniel Jones

Backup: Tyrod Taylor

Analysis: Jones was inked to a four-year extension worth $160 million this offseason and is cemented in as the team’s starter unless something catastrophic occurs. Taylor is in the last year of his deal and will serve as the backup for at least this season. Tommy DeVito, the local product, could end up getting cut and landing on the practice squad depending on how he performs in training camp.

Running back (4)

Starter: Saquon Barkley

Others: Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, Eric Gray (R)

Analysis: Barkley has little leverage in his ‘holdout’ situation but the Giants will likely sign him to a reasonable deal to avoid any ugliness. Breida, Brightwell and the rookie, Gray, are solid backups who should see some touches to take to burden off Saquon.

Wide receiver (7)

Starters: Isaiah Hodgins, Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton

Others: Jalin Hyatt (R), Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson, Jeff Smith

Analysis: Not all of the current wide receivers will make the final roster but given the Giants’ injury history at the position, they might need all of them at some point. The Giants are hoping Hyatt and Campbell can give them the deep threat they have been lacking. UDFA Bryce Ford-Wheaton could end up on the practice squad, but that would be a risk. Smith is primarily here for special teams.

Shepard and Robinson may also begin the season on PUP, opening the door for two others.

Tight end (3)

Starters: Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger

Others: Tommy Sweeney

Analysis: Waller will be used as a weapon and won’t line up much as an in-line TE. That will likely be Bellinger’s job. Sweeney is primarily a blocker.

Offensive line (9)

Starters (LT to RT): Andrew Thomas, Ben Bredeson, John Michael Schmitz (R), Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal

Others: Joshua Ezeudu, Shane Lemieux, Tyre Phillips, Matt Peart

Analysis: The two tackles and Schmitz will be penciled in as starters while the guard positions are open to all comers. Bredeson and Glowinski will likely have to fend off the others in camp. Phillips will serve as the primary swing tackle.

Specialists (3)

Kicker: Graham Gano

Punter: Jamie Gillan

Long snapper: Casey Kreiter

Analysis: Same trio as last year, which was an efficient operation. Gano is at the top of his game and the Giants seem to like Gillan’s leg as they aren’t bringing in anyone to challenge him (yet).

Defensive line (5)

Starters: Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, A’Shawn Robinson

Others: D.J. Davidson, Rakeem Nunez-Roches

Analysis: Lawrence got paid and will now man the nose for Big Blue for the foreseeable future. Robinson and ‘Nacho’ should help improve the run defense. Draft pick Jordon Riley might have a steep learning curve but the Giants love his size and the way he defends the run. He’s a practice squad candidate.

Inside linebacker (4)

Starters: Bobby Okereke, Jarrad Davis

Others: Micah McFadden, Darrian Beavers

Analysis: Okereke is a huge addition to this group and if Davis can pick up where he left off last season, the Giants will have a nice duo in the middle. Be on the lookout for an improved McFadden and Beavers, coming off a season-ending knee injury — he could force their hand if he has another strong camp.

Outside linebacker (4)

Starters: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari

Others: Jihad Ward, Oshane Ximines

Analysis: If the Giants can get both starters on the field together for more than seven games this year they just might find out how potent their pass rush can be. Thibodeaux looks like he’s ready to bust out and Ojulari had 5.5 sacks in just seven games. Ward and Ximines are experienced backups but the others are all going to have impress the coaches in camp to make the roster.

Cornerback (7)

Starters: Adoree’ Jackson, Deonte Banks (R), Cor’Dale Flott (slot)

Others: Darnay Holmes, Tre Hawkins (R), Aaron Robinson, Amani Oruwariye

Analysis: Jackson and Banks should have a clear path to start and Flott, who is better in the slot, should fend off the others for the job. But this group is much more talented than the one they finished last season with. Hawkins could be a surprise, and Robinson could also finally stay healthy and be a factor as well.

Safety (5)

Starters: Xavier McKinney, Jason Pinnock

Others: Dane Belton, Gevarrius Owens (R), Bobby McCain

Analysis: McKinney’s hand still isn’t 100 percent, so that is something to watch. McCain is nice veteran addition and Owens is a producer out there and could see significant playing time. Belton should also continue to improve in this group that lost Julian Love in free agency.

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