Receiver Corey Coleman was solid as a return man last season and could get more chances to prove himself on offense this season.
The New York Giants open training camp July 24 at the team’s facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Here’s a 53-man roster projection:
Manning is the starter. Jones is the future. It’s a fight for the third quarterback spot (if the Giants keep one) between Lauletta and Alex Tanney. Lauletta was a fourth-round pick last year by this front office. That investment makes a difference.
The Giants don’t need to go deep at the position. Barkley played 83 percent of the offensive snaps last season. Gallman is his backup. A running back who specializes in catching the ball (maybe not yet on the roster?) would make the most sense as the third option. Smith is the early choice over Paul Perkins and Jon Hilliman.
FULLBACK (1): Elijhaa Penny
He played well last season and is essentially the Giants’ third running back. He’s a converted tailback and was used consistently throughout the spring as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
This is a crowded group where there will be plenty of competition at the back end. Russell Shepard’s special-teams ability and leadership give him a slight edge over Bennie Fowler and Reggie White. And the Giants seem ready to give Coleman a chance for his breakout season; he also proved to be a solid kickoff returner last season.
The Giants ran almost a third of their offensive plays with at least two tight ends on the field. That was good for 10th in the NFL. They need to go heavy at the position and Simonson impressed last season. Conrad, an undrafted rookie out of Kentucky, did the same this spring.
The Giants starters have been solidified. Depth is still a question mark. Somebody unexpected (Gates?) can sneak onto the back end of the roster.
Hill, in his second year, and Lawrence as a first-round pick are going to play a lot. Pierre brings some pass rush to this group.
A lot of questions about the outside linebackers. Everybody has something to prove, including Golden, who despite being the most accomplished player is trying to regain his old form. The Giants are going to count heavily on Carter as a three-down player and potentially their top pass-rusher. At inside linebacker, Davis spent the spring working with the first-team nickel defense. The Giants are desperate for someone who can cover down the middle of the field.
The cornerbacks are a young but athletic group. Baker was impressive this spring and Tolliver is a player to watch after signing this offseason. Sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine got a late start and could find his way to the practice squad while making the sizable jump from Washburn. At safety, the Giants are counting heavily on Peppers to take his game to the next level. Bethea and Thomas are integral team leaders.
Everybody is back after a strong 2018 season from the special teams.