3 New York Giants with the most to gain in preseason finale

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

The preseason finale game always leaves a lot to be desired in the eyes of most fans. Hardcore fans, however, will be excited to watch the battles going on for the final roster spots.

The fourth NFL preseason game is universally mocked throughout the football world. Yes, hardly any starters or important players will see any kind of meaningful action tonight. Despite that, a bunch of young talented players who are fighting to stick on the 53-man roster-or the practice squad- will get their last opportunities to show what they can do before cut day this weekend.

There were many enticing New York Giant players to choose from for this list, but here are the top three guys who I believe have the most to gain from extended action right before cut day.

1. QB Kyle Lauletta

It wasn’t so long ago that 2018 fourth round draft pick Kyle Lauletta was thought to be the heir-apparent to Eli Manning. After a tumultuous rookie season that saw the infamous traffic-arrest incident, Lauletta is fighting for his life in terms of sticking with the team. He figures to get a long look tonight, as this just might be the last chance he has to showcase what he has to offer to the franchise.

The former Richmond Spider has quietly been fantastic in the first three preseason games. Sporting a gaudy 128.2 quarterback rating, Lauletta has completed 15 of 22 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also has displayed the upside he has athletically, escaping numerous dicey situations by climbing the pocket to escape pressure.

Lauletta will need to have a good night to have any chance of sticking on the 53-man roster. There’s just no sane justification to the Giants keeping four quarterbacks on the roster, and while I think Alex Tanney’s spot on this team is an absolute joke, GM Dave Gettleman apparently doesn’t. Coach Pat Shurmur and Gettleman view Tanney as a quarterbacks coach of sorts (wouldn’t it be smarter to just hire one?), and he has also performed well in the preseason.

Kyle Lauletta needs to make some plays for his own sake tonight.

2. OL Nick Gates

Offensive lineman Nick Gates was one of the prized undrafted signings of the first Dave Gettleman offseason. Coming to the team with more pedigree than the usual undrafted player, Gates impressed throughout his first training camp as a Giant. He was pushing toward a roster spot when he suffered an unfortunate foot injury that nixed his shot of being on the 2018 team.

After spending 2018 on injured reserve, Gates has come back with a bang in 2019. The former Nebraska Cornhusker has maybe the most to gain of any player tonight, as he figures to play most of the game at guard. Gates has been featured often with the second-team offense so far, and his versatility (he was an offensive tackle in college) gives him a real chance to stick.

The coaching staff definitely needs to see more out of him tonight, and he will get an added bonus of potential swing lineman (and direct competition) Chad Wheeler being out with a back injury. Gates has shown that he is a more than competent pass blocker, but has struggled to flash as a mauler in the run game; something that is expected of any guard. If Gates can explode off the line tonight, and show off his excellent hand talent, tonight could very well be the cherry on top to his case for a roster spot.

3. LB Jake Carlock

As our own Peter Dunphy shared this morning, undrafted linebacker Jake Carlock finds himself squarely on the roster bubble heading into the final preseason affair. Carlock has been wildly popular so far in the preseason as a local kid fulfilling his childhood dream. While we all love a good heart-warming story, Carlock’s play has absolutely warranted consideration to make the 53-man roster.

More from NY Giants News

Carlock will get his most extended look tonight, and it couldn’t be a more perfect situation to showcase his skill set. The undersized linebacker played the now mostly extinct ‘rover’ position in college, which is almost a hybrid between a defensive back and linebacker. A rover’s job is to mirror the opposing team’s best player (regardless of where they are on the field), and Big Blue will be looking for him to show his proficiency in covering the slot, runningbacks and tight ends.

The Patriot offense represents a great chance for him to show that he can lock up different type of receivers in multiple positions as he did in college. As a smaller guy, showing he can match-up against slot receivers as a linebacker, and not look silly, will go a long way in terms of making the roster. The Patriots do a wonderful job of disguising looks and using motion to get their receivers in winnable positions. Carlock can show tonight that he’s able to stay on the field regardless of offensive personnel, and playing against New England will only give him more opportunities to do so.