In: Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Jalyn Holmes, DJ Davison, Nick Williams
Out: Ryder Anderson, Justin Ellis, Nick Williams, David Moa
The Giants are likely to play with two defensive lineman on the field the majority of the time, so they will likely keep only four or five on the roster. Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence are the anchors of the Giants defense, and Nick Williams who started 17 games for Detroit in 2021, seems to be their primary backup.
Holmes has had a very strong camp, which could lead to him being included on the roster as additional depth, though it remains to be seen how the concussion he suffered in the preseason finale could impact that. The Giants will feature a nose tackle during some defensive sets, and Davidson was just drafted in the fifth round, so it’s likely he’ll get the nod over the veteran Ellis. Anderson will be on the practice squad after a strong camp.
In: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Jihad Ward, Elerson Smith, Oshane Ximines
Out: Tomon Fox, Quincy Roche
Thibodeaux and Ojulari are two of the young stars on the Giants defense, though it remains to be seen if Thibodeaux will be healthy for Week 1. Ward has established himself as the clear number three, while we haven’t seen Smith in weeks, as he’s been battling injury.
Somehow Ximines, who seemed primed to have his disappointing Giants tenure end this offseason, sticks around. The new coaching staff likes him more than Roche, and he may even start the opener if Thibodeaux can’t go. I want Fox to stay on the roster just based off of this play, the best play of the NFL preseason:
In: Blake Martinez, Tae Crowder, Micah McFadden, Austin Calitro, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin
The Giants will likely not have six inside linebackers on the roster in two weeks for the season opener, but I think they will be tomorrow afternoon. With my projection of the Giants only keeping one tight end for now, I think the Giants will keep these six linebackers until they add more tight ends.
Martinez and Crowder are the clear starters, while McFadden and Calitro should be their backups. McFadden forced a fumble that Calitro recovered yesterday, which was the third turnover Calitro was part of this preseason. Calitro also had a pick six on a horrible Joe Flacco throw.
Brown and Coughlin are special teams stars, though I think Coughlin is the most in jeopardy of getting cut eventually.