NY Giants roster breakdown: How many jobs still up for grabs?

New York Giants run drills at NY Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New York Giants run drills at NY Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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The NY Giants have the potential to be among the NFL’s most improved teams in 2021, and boast a roster that at least on paper is significantly more talented today than it was when the 2020 campaign ended, back in January.

That’s what happens when an organization signed the premier wide receiver available in free agency, Kenny Golladay, adds another in the first-round of the NFL Draft, and fills a glaring need with one of the best available cornerbacks in free agency. Throw in Saquon Barkley’s return to the backfield, alongside quarterback Daniel Jones as he enters his third NFL season, and this could be a team that surprises in 2021.

As OTAs are about to begin, and the regular season approaches, competition could be stiff for some players to make the team.

Here is a breakdown of where things stand with the NY Giants’ roster, including who is a lock, who is on the bubble, and who is a long-shot to make the team:

Locks (35):

QB Daniel Jones

QB Mike Glennon

The NY Giants are all in on Jones, for now, but after an offseason spent significantly bolstering the third-year quarterback’s supporting cast, 2021 might be a make-or-break season for the former No. 6 overall pick.

RB Saquon Barkley

RB Devontae Booker

RB Ryquell Armstead

RB Corey Clement

Barkley’s return is the centerpiece of much of the optimism surrounding a possible renaissance for the NY Giants’ offense in 2021. But, that hasn’t stopped the NY Giants from collecting depth pieces at running back behind him. One current NFL coach tells FanSided, he’d expect Booker to be the No. 2 running back, with Armstead and Clement competing to be the third-down back, behind Barkley.

WR Kenny Golladay

WR Kadarius Toney

WR Darius Slayton

WR Sterling Shepard

WR John Ross

After signing marquee free agent Kenny Golladay and chosen Kadarius Toney in the first-round, a strong argument can be made that this is the deepest — and most prolific, wide receiving corps the NY Giants have fielded in the past half decade. It is certainly the most talented group that Jones has ever played with.

TE Evan Engram

TE Kyle Rudolph

The NY Giants could keep as many as five tight ends. However, Engram and Rudolph have their roster spots cemented. Rudolph, the Giants hope, will be a dynamic weapon in the red zone.

OT Andrew Thomas

Thomas, chosen by the NY Giants with the No. 4 overall pick had an up-and-down rookie campaign in 2020, allowing 10 sacks, but the organization hopes that a fully and “normal” offseason will catapult him into become a bookend along a rebuilt offensive line.

C Nick Gates

Gates will reprise his role as the NY Giants’ starting center in 2021.

OT Matt Peart

The NY Giants love Peart. He rotated in at both tackle spots last season, and even though veteran Nate Solder is set to return after opting out last season, don’t be surprised if Peart gets the first chance to win the starting right tackle job this summer.

DL Leonard Williams

DL Austin Johnson

DL Dexter Lawrence

DL Danny Shelton

Even after losing Dalvin Tomlinson via free agency, defensive line remains among the NY Giants’ biggest strengths on the roster. Johnson and Shelton will likely compete for a starting job, with Williams and Lawrence potentially emerging as three-down players.

DE/LB Ifeadi Odenigbo

LB Ryan Anderson

LB Blake Martinez

LB Lorenzo Carter

LB Oshane Ximines

LB Azeez Ojulari

LB Tae Crowder

Blake Martinez was among the NY Giants’ most dominant defenders last season. Anderson has the potential to step in immediately as a starter. Odenigbo could earn quality pass-rush snaps either as a defensive end or outside linebacker. Carter and Ximines are both coming off significant injuries, and could face competition for snaps from rookie Azeez Ojulari and promising second-year player Tae Crowder atop the pass-rush rotation.

CB James Bradberry

CB Adoree’ Jackson

CB Aaron Robinson

CB Darnay Holmes

Cornerback has the chance to be the most improved position on the roster, and certainly is over the past two seasons. Bradberry is an All-Pro caliber lockdown outside cornerback, and Jackson was among the premier players available at the position in free agency. Competition between Holmes, and rookie Aaron Robinson could be among the more intriguing training camp battles to watch.

DB Logan Ryan

DB Xavier McKinney

Logan Ryan provided veteran stability, after signing with the NY Giants last summer. Meanwhile, McKinney might be one of the biggest steals of the 2020 NFL Draft class, and showed plenty of promise when he was finally healthy and got on the field over the final month of last season.

S Jabrill Peppers

Peppers is really coming into his own, and had the most dominant season of his career in 2020, producing a 64.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, with three sacks, one interception, and 85 total tackles.

K Graham Gano

Gano is coming off the strongest season of his career, and narrowly missed his second Pro Bowl appearance in 2020.