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Giants Roster Preview

The 53 man roster is set in stone (for now), and it allows us to finally analyze it. We’ll go position by position, tell you who’s going to have a big year, who’s going to disappoint, and who might never see the field.

QB: Eli Manning, David Carr

Manning enters his 8th season looking to reduce a career high 25 interceptions. Seeing as most of those interceptions came off tipped passes by receivers, I think that number is reversed. With a lot of weapons, Eli is poised for another big year, where he should throw for over 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. He’s an elite QB, and if the wideouts can hold onto the damn ball, Manning might find himself in Honolulu.

Carr is a capable backup who might never see the field. If needed, though, Carr has the experience and wherewithal to a win a few games.

RB: Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, DJ Ware, Da’Rel Scott

Based on preseason, this unit is primed for big things. Ahmad Bradshaw looks healthy and that should propel him to another 1,000 yard season. Brandon Jacobs was running once again with purpose, using his size to his advantage. DJ Ware is solid, but Giants fans have to be excited by Da’Rel Scott. Scott is blazing fast, and showed it in preseason. If the Giants can consistently block for them, a huge year is not out of the question, for all backs.

FB: Henry Hynoski

Possessing one of the most awesome names in football, Hynoski is an undrafted free agent who made the team because of his throw back style. He can block, plain and simple. The Giants will probably still mix in Bear Pascoe at fullback, so as to not overwhelm the rookie. Still, he should be a solid fullback.

WR: Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, Domenik Hixon, Devin Thomas, Jerrel Jernigan, Victor Cruz

The Giants have a stable of young, talented receivers. Hakeem Nick is poised for a huge year–pick him up in your fantasy drafts. If he stays healthy, 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns is not out of the question. He was dominant at times last year. Manningham is absurdly talented, but needs to cut down on the mental mistakes. Still, when Nicks and Steve Smith were hurt last season, Manningham really stepped up and showed that he can be a legit number one receiver. Domenik Hixon looked smooth returning from his ACL injury, and will be invaluable returning kicks and in the slot. Devin Thomas was fantastic as a kick returner, and will see plenty of time on offense, to try to capture some of that magic. Jerrel Jergnian looked overwhelmed in preseason, but he did flash explosive speed. Victor Cruz will primarily play on special teams.

TE: Travis Beckum, Jake Ballard, Bear Pascoe

Tight end is a real issue for the Giants. After losing Kevin Boss to the Raiders, the Giants will look to three unproven youngsters to get the job done. Travis Beckum has a lot of talent, but he’s more of an H-Back, meaning that he’s better utilized in space, than on the line. He’s not a traditional tight end, and the Giants will have to adjust their offense as such. Jake Ballard, at this point, is strictly a blocker, but will have to go out and catch passes. Pascoe is a bit more experienced, but his forte is blocking as well. The Giants will probably use Ballard and Pascore more to block, and then try to get Beckum out in space.

OL: Will Beatty, David Diehl, David Baas, Chris Snee, Kareem McKenzie, Stacey Andrews, Kevin Boothe, Mitch Petrus, James Brewer

The Giants offensive line will look a bit different this year, now that they’re missing Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert. Will Beatty will take over at left tackle. He’s unproven ,but possesses all the skills to be a top tier left tackle. He will be tested, and he plays a most important position. Teams will load up on his side. Don’t be surprised to see an extra tackle or tight end on that side. David Diehl slides inside to guard, where he is much better suited. A Pro Bowl left tackle, Diehl could be an All-Pro left guard. David Baas was imported from San Francisco, and while the lack of offseason made it difficult for him to truly master the offense, Baas has shown good pulling skills and is athletic enough to get involved in space. How fast he can really digest the playbook will determine his success. Chris Snee is one of the best guards in football, and has been for some time now. He is consistent and downright nasty. Kareem McKenzie is a solid right tackle. The Giants will run to the right a lot. Stacey Andrews will back up both tackles position. He’s a veteran, so if needed, he can be thrown in and do a decent job. Kevin Boothe will fill in all over the line; his versatility is invaluable. Mitch Petrus might see more playing time at guard, or in jumbo packages. James Brewer will likely only play if there is an injury.

DE: Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Dave Tollefson

The Giants possess serious talent at defensive end. Justin Tuck is one of the best defensive ends in football. He’s equally adept at rushing the passer and stopping the run. He is the heart and soul of this defense and this team. Jason Pierre-Paul is a future star, and has shown in preseason just how dominant he can be. Osi Umenyiora is hurt for now, and will miss at least two games, but when healthy, we know how good he can be. The question is: Can his knee recover adequately, and is he motivated enough to play? Huge questions. Dave Tollefson is an effort guy who makes any team better.

DT: Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Rocky Bernard, Jimmy Kennedy

There are some questions at this position, after losing Barry Cofield to the Redskins. Still, Chris Canty is a huge presence in the middle, and as he continues to get comfortable in a 4-3, he should be a good run stopper. Linval Joseph is incredibly strong, but also very untested. He’s a wild card. Rocky Bernard had a great preseason, and if he can rush the passer with some regularity, the Giants will be very happy. Jimmy Kennedy is depth, but he was once a first round pick. He has the talent to succeed. Will this be the defense that brings it out of him?

LB: Kawika Mitchell, Michael Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka, Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones, Jaicquan Williams, Spencer Paysinger, Zak DeOssie

The Giants were lucky to find a bunch of good rookie linebackers to fill out depth at a position that is normally devoid of it. Michael Boley can rush the passer and cover tight ends out of the backfield. He does not, however, always play to his talent. Mathias Kiwanuka will once again be tried at linebacker, although that will only be for 2 downs. He’s play a so-called “Joker” position, where he will be moved all over the field. Mark Herzlich is an inspiration, and making the team after his battle with cancer is just awesome. He’ll play primarily on special teams. Greg Jones has natural instincts, and they will be used extensively on special teams. With Goff out, Jones will see plenty of time at middle linebacker. Jaicquan Williams is super fast, and will also be a factor on special teams. Spencer Paysinger is poised beyond his years, and can step in and start at linebacker if need be. Zak DeOssie is the long snapper, and he’s a very good one.

CB: Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, Brian Williams, Michael Coe, Prince Amukamara

This unit has suffered mightily from the losses of Terrell Thomas and Bruce Johnson. Corey Webster will have to step up and provide shut down defense. He’s capable of it. Aaron Ross will need to improve his tackling skills if he is to be the regular number two corner. His inconsistency is troubling. Brian Williams is a veteran who won’t make too many mistakes. Michael Coe is young and will be used more on special teams. Prince Amukamara is hurt, and won’t be back for a few weeks, but when he comes back his impact, due to limited practice time, will be minimal. Benefiting this unit will be Antrel Rolle, who, in nickel situations, will become the nickel corner.

S: Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Deon Grant, Tyler Sash, Derrick Martin

Antrel Rolle is a top notch safety. He’s equally adept at pass coverage and stopping the run. He’ll also be used as a nickel corner. Kenny Phillips will be one more year removed from his knee injury, and that should remove any tentativeness. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from him; if he can play at full strength, we should see it again. Deon Grant is a savvy veteran who will be used at safety when Rolle is at corner, and also as an in the box linebacker. Tyler Sash is a fiery, aggressive player who will make a big impact on special teams. Derrick Martin is depth, but is known as an ace special teamer.

K: Lawrence Tynes

Tynes has turned into a solid kicker. He’s recovering from a leg injury, and it remains to be seen how that will affect him. While he’s not the best kicker, he’s still pretty consistent and gets the job done.

P: Steve Weatherford

Weatherford is the new punter, much to the relief of many Giants fans. He’s a veteran punter who knows the stadium, and will not make any rookie mistakes. He’s a fine punter, and will be a welcome relief for Giants fans.

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