This NY Giants UDFA has the best chance to steal a 53-man roster spot

With all of the question marks around the Giants defensive line, one UDFA might end up stealing a 53-man roster spot.
Oregon v Colorado
Oregon v Colorado / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

With this week kicking off the NY Giants coverage from their offseason program on HBO’s Hard Knocks, it gets everyone that much closer to football again, especially with training camp starting very soon. One of the things that everyone will keep an eye out for are the roster battles from the start of camp until the end of preseason.

For a lot of players, their spots on the 53-man roster are secured. For a lot of others, training camp is a chance and an opportunity for many to win a job, especially for those who weren’t drafted back in April and are considered a long shot. Last year, a lot of the attention was on Tommy DeVito, who despite playing well in the Giants preseason games and who many thought looked like he deserved to win the No. 3 quarterback job, initially didn’t make the final roster for Week 1, but by midseason, he ended up being the Giants starting quarterback and even won some games.

Even with all of that from 2023 and heading into 2024, DeVito isn’t a guarantee to make the final 53-man roster despite what he did a season ago. So, who will be the Giants' version of DeVito from the 2024 UDFA class for this season? There's one player in particular we like.

Given what position has the most uncertainty surrounding it heading into the summer and training camp, Oregon defensive lineman Casey Rogers has the early jump as being one of the undrafted free agents with the best chance to make the team. Elijah Chatman from SMU could also challenge him and the other undrafted players as well for a spot. However, Rogers was one of the first players the Giants landed once they could start signing players that didn’t get picked in the draft.

Heading into 2024, the defensive line has a lot of question marks around it outside of Dexter Lawrence, who is considered one of, if not, the best interior defensive lineman in football. The Giants are hopeful for younger players like Jordon Riley and D.J. Davidson to take the next step and they also have veterans like Jordan Phillips and Rakeem Nunez-Roches as well. However, Lawrence is really the only true guarantee from the defensive line group, especially after the Giants traded away Leonard Williams at the trade deadline back in October.

While at Nebraska and Oregon, Rogers had 12 tackles for loss, six of them were with the Ducks and 2.5 were during his final season. The numbers might not jump out at you, especially since he wasn’t even drafted and is no guarantee to make the team. Rogers, though, made an early impression during the Giants rookie camp when he looked like someone with a chance to stick in drills and team activities.

Along with the natural instincts that Rogers showed, what might be to his advantage over the others is his position coach in Andre Patterson, who has a reputation around the league for getting the most out of his players and pass-rushers. Before coming over to the Giants and helping their players, he was helping the defensive players of the Minnesota Vikings refine their skills and many felt NY was fortunate enough to snag him away from the NFC North side.

Lawrence’s game has only improved since Patterson joined Brian Daboll’s staff. Some expect Kayvon Thibodeaux and Brian Burns to elevate their games with Patterson helping with the edge-rushers on Shane Bowen’s defense. However, for a player like Rogers, having that kind of coaching could be exactly what he needs to not only improve, but to make the team and make a strong enough impact where he’s a possible force playing alongside Lawrence and others.

Because of how impressive he was and with the coaching of Patterson, Chatman could be someone who pushes Rogers for that roster spot as well. And that’s if there’s a spot available for an undrafted player. Remember, DeVito played well enough to make the team in the summer and didn’t. But, because of the uncertainty at the position, Rogers is who we see as the early favorite, or at least one of the early favorites, to snag a Week 1 spot.