The New York Giants enter Year 2 of the Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur regime. In Year 1, the Giants turned over all but 17 players from the 2017 to 2018 roster on opening day. Entering Year 2, the Giants made even more changes to their roster after moving on from two of their biggest names on both side of the ball — wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and safety Landon Collins.
The major roster overhaul was created with a goal in mind. The Gettleman-Shurmur regime is focused on creating a different culture in the Giants locker room, on the sidelines, and on the field. Both Gettleman and Shurmur have publicly expressed confidence in the culture they’ve created.
In the process, the Giants have shifted their assets on offense to fit a plan of attack that stresses physical play on the offensive line and an offensive system that runs through 2018 Rookie of the Year running back Saquon Barkley. You can expect his role in the passing game to grow in Year 2. On defense, the Giants have shifted assets away from the front seven to their secondary with premium draft picks in the last two draft classes. Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher used a subpackage defense (five or more defensive backs) on 84 percent of the team’s snaps in 2018.
Check below for updates on everything depth chart related for the Giants throughout the preseason as we track all the key battles that will affect the team’s outlook in 2019. This depth chart will be updated throughout the rest of training camp and the preseason prior to the regular-season opener. As players move up and down the depth chart during practices and the preseason, these changes will be reflected below.
The Giants entered training camp with the most uncertainty at the center position after Jon Halapio and Spencer Pulley traded first-team snaps throughout spring OTAs. Halapio earned most of the reps with the starters in the spring and that has continued, but Giants offensive line coach Hal Hunter recently said he won’t decide on his starting center until after the third preseason game.
One position that has changed the most since the Giants started training camp is the wide receiver position. Entering camp, the Giants had high expectations for rookie fifth-round draft pick Darius Slayton after a strong set of spring OTAs that ended in him seeing a few first-team reps. A hamstring injury has kept Slayton sidelined for the majority of training camp practices so far. The Giants also lost Corey Coleman (ACL) to a season-ending injury, Sterling Shepard fractured his thumb, and news broke that Golden Tate will serve a four-game suspension to begin the 2019 regular season.
Both Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler have stepped up with the first-team offense. They will both likely be heavily involved from a snaps standpoint in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Although there was some speculation the Giants could have a quarterback competition in training camp, that has not been the case so far. Shurmur hinted that rookie Daniel Jones will eventually see some first-team reps in practice, as part of the team’s plan, but Eli Manning is entrenched as the Week 1 starting quarterback. Manning has completed a higher percentage of passes during camp than Jones, per camp reports from various beat writers, but they have mostly been of the underneath variety.
Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley closed out the final four games of the 2018 regular season as Manning’s top targets (alongside Shepard). Their heavy involvement in the passing game has carried over to spring OTAs and the training camp. The Giants offense minus Beckham will most likely funnel through these three skill position players.
Both Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman have been impressive in the early part of training camp as they continue to put pressure on each other for the backup role to spell Barkley.
It didn’t take long for both of the first-round rookie defensive players to emerge as starters in training camp. Some analysts pegged Dexter Lawrence as a pure nose tackle, but one look at his athletic profile and game tape at Clemson from his freshman season showed that he can be a pass rusher if he plays at a lighter weight. Lawrence vowed to get lighter and he showed up to camp in excellent shape. Since then, Lawrence has operated as the starting defensive end.
The Giants are managing Markus Golden’s reps during training camp practices. Although Martin has taken the most first-team snaps on the EDGE at outside linebacker, opposite Lorenzo Carter, the expectation is that Golden will have a chance to win the starting job in the preseason.
The Giants closed out the 2018 regular season with UDFA linebacker Tae Davis in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s “moneybacker” role and that’s how they’ll open the 2019 preseason. Behind Davis, rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly continues to impress in training camp and he has seen some first-team reps.
The best competition in Giants camp has come at the cornerback position, where first-round draft pick Deandre Baker and fellow rookies Corey Ballentine and Julian Love have all had their moments. All three players have made plays with the first-team defense, but only Baker has consistently entered and exited practice having spent the majority of his reps with the first-team defense. A hamstring injury has limited second-year cornerback Sam Beal who was coming off of a strong set of spring OTAs.
Fresh off of his 2018 First-Team All-Pro season, the Giants are locked in at the kicker position with Aldrick Rosas. The Giants have mixed and matched with their return specialists. These two roles remain to be determined during the preseason.