Giants Post-Draft Projected Depth Chart

The New York Giants had one of their better drafts in recent memory a few weeks ago. General Manager Jerry Reese made some bold decisions early on, perhaps reaching for a high-potential tackle in the first round, before trading up to snag the top pick in the second. All in all, it appears that the Giants are an improved team from the one that went 6-10 a season ago. Here’s a rough depth chart for the 2014-15 season.

Quarterback:

1. Eli Manning

2. Ryan Nassib

3. Ricky Stanzi

No surprises here. Manning has been the Giants franchise quarterback for over a decade, winning two Super Bowls in the process. While his play over the last two seasons has raised some critics about his place with the team, Manning is the Giants number one at quarterback, without a doubt. Nassib, the project from Syracuse, will begin year three of his apprenticeship under Manning. Stanzi, a roster filling quarterback, is a doubt to make the 53-man roster come August.

Running back:

1. Rashad Jennings

2. Shane Vereen

3. Andre Williams

4. Orleans Darkwa

5. Akeem Hunt

Think of it as a running-back by committee. Jennings and Williams were essentially a platoon a season ago, and Vereen was added to join the mix. Jennings is the power back, who smashes between the tackles and gets all the tough yards. Williams can act as a change of pace back, explosive, an exciting runner. And Vereen is the pass catcher, a threat to get the ball in the flat and burst for big gains in yardage. It’s a potentially deadly trio for the Giants, the best three-headed monster since Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, and Ahmad Bradshaw in 2011.

Fullback:

1. Henry Hynoski

No surprises here either. Hynoski is one of the better fullbacks in the NFL, and his touchdown celebrations are certainly among the more entertaining in the league.

Wide Receiver:

1. Odell Beckham Jr.

2. Victor Cruz

3. Rueben Randle

4. Preston Parker

5. Corey Washington

6. Dwyane Harris

7. Geremy Davis

8. Marcus Harris

Very strong group, if healthy. We never got to see a perfectly healthy Beckham Jr. – Cruz combo, one which would strike fear into the hearts of many defenses. Beckham Jr. put up one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history. Cruz broke boundaries with his historical season during the 2011-12 Super Bowl run. Randle, Parker, and Washington showed promise during last season. Dwyane Harris is a dynamic kick returner. Geremy Davis can be an interesting prospect. Lots of question marks here, but also loads of potential.

Tight End:

1. Larry Donnell

2. Daniel Fells

3. Adrien Robinson

Donnell had somewhat of a breakout season in 2014, highlighted by his three-touchdown performance against the Washington Redskins. While Donnell and Fells certainly aren’t as potent of a combination as Giants fans may have hoped, they are a somewhat productive duo who can act as sufficient red zone threats.

Offensive Line:

LT: Will Beatty

LG: Geoff Schwartz

C: Weston Richburg

RG: Justin Pugh

RT: Ereck Flowers

Reserves:

Marshall Newhouse (T), John Jerry (G), Troy Kropog (T), Eric Herman (G), Brandon Mosley (G), Dallas Reynolds (G), Bobby Hart (G), Brett Jones (C)

Offensive line has been a weakness over the last few years, but Jerry Reese has certainly done his best to fix it. Two of the last three first round picks have been devoted towards the offensive line, as well as a second rounder a year ago. The state of the offensive line is now looking pretty good. Beatty will need to be at his best as left tackle, but he is seemingly the only weak link. Schwartz is a stud, who missed most of the season with a toe injury.

He should have a major impact in his first full season with the Giants. Richburg showed great signs of success at guard last season, and now appears set to take up the role of center. Pugh has been one of the only consistent performers on the line over the past two seasons. And Flowers, the uber athletic first round pick, will start at right tackle before making the ultimate switch to left. This line has some great depth at guard, especially in the form of seventh round pick Bobby Hart. The Giants also shored up their center depth by adding CFL Most Outstanding Lineman of the Year winner, Brett Jones. The unit appears reloaded and set to have a solid season.

Defensive End:

1. Jason Pierre-Paul

2. Damontre Moore

3. Robert Ayers

4. Owa Odighizuwa

Pretty unestablished group at DE for the Giants. Once a position of strength, the Giants found defensive end a position of need in this years draft. They addressed it quite well – Owa Odighizuwa was a second round prospect who fell to the Giants in the third round. He’ll make an immediate impact and could be a starter by seasons end. The top two guys on the depth chart also have a lot to prove – Damontre Moore was once thought to be a top five pick, but he fell to the Giants in the third round in 2013. He has his fair share of doubters, but a productive season from him could be in the works. Also under scrutiny – Jason Pierre-Paul, who was handed the franchise tag by the Giants this offseason. He had a better 2014, but is still searching for his 16.5 sack form from 2012.

Defensive Tackle:

1. Jonathan Hankins

2. Cullen Jenkins

3. Kenrick Ellis

4. Markus Kuhn

Hankins had a very good 2014 season, and is immediately the go-to starter at defensive tackle. The former Buckeye is the primary run clogger in the middle for the Giants, but there are some questions behind him. The aging Cullen Jenkins and former Jet Kenrick Ellis will compete for the second starting spot, and will need to be productive in order for the Giants run defense to improve.

Outside Linebacker:

1. J.T. Thomas

2. Devon Kennard

3. Jonathan Casillas

4. Mark Herzlich

5. Victor Butler

Not a bad unit for the Giants. J.T. Thomas enjoyed a fine season with the Jaguars in 2014, while Devon Kennard was one of the better Giants in 2014. Both of them are shoe-ins to start, but expect Jonathan Casillas to see a lot of time off the bench. Mark Herzlich and Victor Butler will add depth to a very underrated unit.

Middle Linebacker:

1. Jon Beason

2. Jameel McClain

Health is the biggest issue for middle linebacker Jon Beason, who was once among the NFL’s best middle linebackers just a season ago. Beason is a brilliant leader on defense, and a strong player as well. If he stays healthy, expect the Giants defense to be immeasurably better than if he misses time. Jameel McClain should also see a lot of time off the bench, and will get a few starts when Beason (seemingly) inevitably gets injured.

Cornerback:

1. Prince Amukamara

2. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

3. Jayron Hoseley

4. Chykie Brown

5. Trumaine McBride

Corner was a position hit hard by injuries in 2014- the top two guys on the depth chart both missed time, and free agent pickup Walter Thurmond III missed the season with a torn ACL. When healthy, the Giants top two corners- Amukamara and DRC- have shutdown capabilities, and each has something to prove this season. Amukamara, the former first rounder, is in a contract season, while Rodgers-Cromartie continues to fight off Father Time.

Safety:

1. Landon Collins

2. Nate Behre

3. Cooper Taylor

4. Mykelle Thompson

Safety has been the biggest area of need for the Giants this offseason, especially after the departure of Antrel Rolle to Chicago. New York was aggressive in the draft, trading up to snag Alabama safety Landon Collins with the top pick of the second round, and snagging Mykelle Thompson on Day 3. Collins will be asked to start right away, but the battle for the second safety will be waged between two Day Three players- Nate Behre, who was drafted in 2014, and Cooper Taylor, who was selected in 2013. This is a young, inexperienced group, that has many doubters heading into the season. Collins in particular will be under a lot of scrutiny, but he has the potential to be a starter for a long time.

Kicker:

1. Josh Brown

Punter:

1. Steve Weatherford

Long Snapper: Zak D’Ossie

Weathorford, who battled injuries all of last year, and Brown, who continues to age, have some questions to answer in 2015, but they head into camp as the undisputed number ones. D’Ossie has been around forever, and continues to play a key role on special teams.

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