With Week 2 of the NFL preseason underway, football season is almost officially back. While teams still have plenty of roster moves to make to trim rosters down to the league’s 53-man requirement, most teams already have an idea of what their rotations and depth charts will look like. Today, we’ll touch on the New York Football Giants and their much anticipated offense.
2-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will undoubtedly be the starting quarterback for the Giants in 2018. The interesting part about this position will be who the backup is on opening day. Davis Webb, a second-year player from California, is currently listed as the team’s second string QB. However, Webb put on a not-so-great showing in the Giants’ first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. He completed just 9-22 passes and finished with the games lowest QBR of 49.7. Rookie Kyle Lauletta had an above average performance and had no sign of nervousness or anxiety. If Lauletta can have those same characteristics going forward and Webb can’t relax in the pocket and connect with receivers, Lauletta could become the second string QB. Both have a lot to prove in these last three preseason games; one of them could potentially be the next man up after Manning retires in the near future.
QB of the future!!! 👀 pic.twitter.com/20JkhTnjRb
— Brendan Smith (@threezustrist) August 10, 2018
Manning, Webb, Lauletta
In case you missed it, the Giants selected star running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Dave Gettleman then went and added veteran back Jonathan Stewart. New York also has second-year back Wayne Gallman, who proved to be quite the asset at times for the Giants last season. In recent history, it seemed like the Giants liked to stick with four running backs. This year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants start off the year with only three. Robert Martin and Jalen Simmons are currently on the roster. If the Giants decide to roll with three, they would be the two odd men out. If the Giants want to have four, expect Simmons to make the squad. Simmons had a great camp and scored the team’s only touchdown in the preseason opener against the Browns. Barring an injury, Barkley is expected to be the starter with Stewart and Gallman sharing touches.
First career rush by Saquon Barkley goes for 39! pic.twitter.com/1rPBz5AT1L
— FlurrySports (@FlurrySports) August 9, 2018
Barkley, Stewart, Gallman, Simmons
Last year, the Giants signed Shane Smith and Rhett Ellison to play fullback for the Giants. They waived Smith to make room for other personnel after all the injuries the Giants encountered last season, but later re-signed him. It would appear the front office likes Smith. Ellison played some fullback with the Vikings so keeping Smith isn’t a must if the Giants want to address other positions. However, expect the Giants to keep Shane Smith, at least early on. When the Giants go with a 2-RB personnel, Smith will be the fullback.
Second-year star Evan Engram will be the go-to tight end for Pat Shurmur this season. Engram is a smaller tight end and will line up on the outside every once in a while. Rhett Ellison and Jerell Adams will battle it out for the second slot in 22 personnel. Ellison will provide run-block help, while Adams will help more by making plays in the middle of the field. Both Ellison and Adams should make the team, unless the Giants like one of the younger tight ends on the roster. The other ends are Garrett Dickerson, Ryan O’Malley, and Scott Simonson. If Dickerson or Simonson impress the front office enough, Adams could be cut. It would be odd to see the Giants keep more then three tight ends after roster cuts, but I like Adams’ odds of making the team. He’s made some plays in the past.
Engram, Ellison, Adams
When you talk about unfortunate injuries, look no further than the 2017 New York Giants wide receiver corps. The three starting receivers, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard, all went down to injury – leaving Roger Lewis Jr., Tavarres King, and Travis Rudolph as the starters. Beckham is back and healthy, and the front office cut Brandon Marshall. The Giants still don’t have a number-two receiver. Many expected the Giants to maybe sign Dez Bryant or promote Roger Lewis, but Cody Latimer is currently listed as the number-two. There are a few more interesting prospects for the Giants to consider. Hunter Sharp and Khalif Raymond are the team’s main returners on special teams. If needed, the Giants can find others to play those roles. They just have so many holes to fill, it’s hard to see both of them making the roster, but I suppose it’s possible. Dare I say Beckham or Shepard go down, it could go very south very quick for the Giants’ receivers.
Lewis, R. Shepard
S. Shepard, Rudolph
It’s no secret the Giants have had one of, if not the worst offensive line in the NFL over the last few seasons. After missing out on Andrew Norwell, Gettleman turned to the likes of Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh. The team released starting RT Bobby Hart a day after the Giants’ season ended earlier this year. There was some speculation that Ereck Flowers may be a casualty of the rebuild, but Gettleman kept him around and as of now, Flowers is the starting RT with signee Solder taking over starting LT. Rookie Will Hernandez was a steal for the Giants in the second round and a perfect fit. He was an apple of fans’ eyes even before the draft. Hernandez will be the starting LG. After the Giants let C Weston Richburg walk to sign with the San Francisco 49’ers, the team turned to Brett Jones, who took over after Richburg went down due to injury. Former OG Jon Halapio moved to center over the spring, and surprisingly, is currently listed as the starting C over Jones. It’s hard to tell if this is a motivation tactic for Jones. The Giants have wanted there to be competition among o-line personnel for a while now, as it will hopefully make the more talented players work harder to earn their jobs. In the past, that had been an issue with that group. Halapio has apparently impressed, but it’s hard to see Jones not being the starter come Game 1 against Jacksonville. RG is a bit interesting. Returning former starter John Jerry is back, but Omameh is listed as the team’s starter on the unofficial depth chart. Jerry is a very average guard, but Omameh is in the same camp. Omameh will probably open up as the starter, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jerry as the starter at some point, especially if Omameh doesn’t live up to expectations. Second-year tackle Chad Wheeler will most likely make the team. Fans have hot or cold opinions of him, but the Giants don’t have much depth behind Solder and Flowers. Veteran OG John Greco can be marked down as a definite for the Giants’ roster. New York signed him after injuries last year, and he played well enough for the team to bring him back for another year. Like the tackles, there isn’t much quality depth behind the starters, but Greco is an asset. They need to and will keep him.