Originally posted on The Football Fan Spot  |  Last updated 9/3/12

Quarterbacks

Quarterback Eli Manning was obviously locked in and backup David Carr was as close to locked in as you can get because the only other quarterback competing for a spot was Ryan Perriloux and he never really made it much of a battle for the backup job. He was cut as the Giants decided once again to only carry two quarterbacks this season. Punter Brian Weatherford will remain the emergency quarterback.

Running Backs

Ahmad Bradshaw and backup David Wilson were locked in. Bradshaw will start and Wilson will see significant action behind him. DJ Ware was, at one point, being considered for the goal line, short yardage, 3rd down role, but he was a somewhat surprising cut as the Giants decided to keep Andre Brown and Da’Rel Scott instead. Brown is their biggest back and only true bruiser so he could see short yardage situations, while Scott, a 7th round pick in 2011, was kept for mostly developmental purposes. Fullback Henry Hynoski was also brought back and kept as the Giants’ only fullback.

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Receiving Corps

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz were locked in, as was Dominek Hixon, who won the 3rd string job, meaning he’ll play outside opposite Nicks in 3-wide receiver sets, allowing Nicks to focus on the slot. Reuben Randle, the team’s 2nd round pick, was also locked in even though he didn’t win the 3rd string job because of his draft status. 2011 3rd round pick Jerrel Jernigan was also locked in, both because of his draft status and also because he was their starting kick returner and punt returner.

That left maximum one spot for another receiver and they used it, keeping 2010 3rd round pick Ramses Barden, giving the 6-6 receiver one more chance. At tight end, starter Martellus Bennett and 4th round rookie Adrien Robinson were locked in and Bear Pascoe joined them, staying on the roster as a blocking specialist.

Offensive Line

Starters Kevin Boothe (left guard), David Baas (center), and Chris Snee (right guard) were all locked in. On the outside, William Beatty is not expected to play week 1 at left tackle. Instead, Sean Locklear will probably be their left tackle, which is a problem. David Diehl was their left tackle last season, but he really struggled and is now on the right side, where he beat out 2011 4th round pick James Brewer. All 4 of those offensive tackles looked pretty locked in on the roster.

However, instead of keeping Matt McCants, a 6th round rookie offensive tackle, they cut him and signed undrafted free agent DJ Jones, who has been waived by the Eagles, which is not a good sign for McCants’ career. An even worse sign for McCants’ career was when Jones failed his physical, they brought back Mitch Petrus, a guard cut the day before, instead and kept McCants on the practice squad. Petrus, who saw significant action last season with injury, will continue to be a reserve left guard, while Jim Cordle stuck as a reserve center.

Defensive Line

Starters Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Linval Joseph are locked in, as is pass rushing specialist. However, another starter, Chris Canty at defensive tackle, was put on IR, meaning he’ll miss the whole season. Rocky Bernard will take his spot in the starting lineup as Marvin Austin is also hurt, so Bernard is locked in as well, as is Austin, even though the 2011 2nd round pick hasn’t played in a live game since 2009, missing 2010 at North Carolina with a suspension and last season with a torn pectoral.

Needing a 4th defensive tackle, the Giants kept 7th round rookie Markus Kuhn over veteran Marcus Thomas. The Giants kept 2 more defensive ends, Adrian Tracy, who could see a situational role in absence of free agent departure Dave Tollefson. Tracy, a converted linebacker, would come in when the Giants bring out 4 defensive ends. They also kept undrafted free agent Adewale Ojomo as a 5th defensive end. He’ll be a frequent game day inactive unless he can carve out a special teams role, but he was kept for developmental purposes.

Linebackers

Locked in as the starters were Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael Boley on the outside and Chase Blackburn, who beat out Keith Rivers in Training Camp, at the middle linebacker spot. Rivers was likely a lock given that the team just gave up a 5th round pick for him to compete for the starting middle linebacker spot. He’ll provide depth across the board at linebacker.

Having kept 9 defensive lineman, the Giants could realistically only keep 6 or 7 linebackers. They kept 7, giving them 16 front 7 sevens, choosing 2nd year players Jacquian Williams, Mark Herzlich, and Spencer Paysinger over fellow 2nd year player Greg Jones. Williams was a 6th round pick last year, as was Jones, while Herzlich and Paysinger were undrafted, but Herzlich, a cancer survivor, provided himself to be valuable on special teams last year and a developmental prospect at either middle linebacker or outside linebacker. He’ll backup Blackburn at middle linebacker. Paysinger, meanwhile, simply beat out Jones, a former draft pick, as a former undrafted free agent.

 

 

Secondary

At cornerback, the Giants needed depth. Not only was Terrell Thomas lost on IR with ACL problems for the 2nd straight season, replacement starter and 2011 1st round pick Prince Amukamara was out for at least week 1 with a high ankle sprain. The Giants kept Amukamara, obviously, along with established starter Corey Webster and 3rd round rookie Jayron Hosley. The Giants then kept two veterans, Michael Coe and Justin Tryon. Coe will get the week 1 start at cornerback, as Hosley could miss that game as well. Tryon is currently listed as the slot cornerback, so we might not see Hosley until week 2 at the earliest.

With all of the injuries at cornerback, the Giants needed depth at safety because Antrel Rolle would likely be playing a lot on the slot as a cornerback in sub packages, especially early in the season, meaning they would use 3 safeties more often than most teams, something they already did last season. They didn’t bring back Deon Grant, who was that 3rd safety last year. The veteran is probably done in this league.

With Tyler Sash, originally supposed to serve in that role, missing the first 4 games of the season with suspension, the Giants kept Stevie Brown, a 7th round pick of the Raiders in 2010, to be their 3rd safety. Will Hill surprisingly made the roster after going undrafted and unsigned last offseason because of character problems. When Sash returns, one of those two is probably gone, likely Hill, unless Brown bombs in his audition.

Specialists

Lawrence Tynes and Steve Weatherford remain as their place kicker and punter once again, as is the case pretty much every year. Those are their only two kickers. Another familiar face is long snapper Zak DeOssie. Jerrel Jernigan will return both punts and kickoffs, with Dominek Hixon backing him up as punt returner and Da’Rel Scott backing him up as kick returner.

Practice Squad

DE Matt Broha

G Selvish Capers

OT Matt McCants

WR David Douglas

TE Larry Donnell

G Stephen Gooden

CB Laron Scott

DE Craig Marshall

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