- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Projecting the New York Giants' 53-man roster after the first two weeks of training camp:
The Giants didn't like carrying three quarterbacks last year. They did so because they drafted Nassib as a fourth-round project with the thought that he wouldn't be active for any games as a rookie. But this year, they've come out and said that Nassib needs to win the No. 2 job. He worked as the clear No. 2 ahead of Curtis Painter in OTAs and minicamp, and I think he'd have to fall flat on his face in order to lose the job. Nassib looked better in the second week of camp than he did in the first in terms of consistency and accuracy. If Manning goes down, the Giants are cooked anyway, whether it's Painter or Nassib behind him. So they might as well keep developing the kid unless he's totally incompetent.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Unless they get unexpected news from his surgeon Monday, David Wilson's latest neck injury looks likely to end his time with the Giants. That's unfortunate because his uncommon speed and talent would have been a help, but they do have depth behind him. I moved Cox onto the roster in Wilson's place this week, but it's not out of the question that Kendall Gaskins could beat him out for the spot.
It's a camp battle between Hynoski and John Conner, but the Giants won't keep both. And they've been lining tight ends up in the backfield enough early in camp that you start to wonder whether they'll keep a fullback at all. If they do, my hunch is that Hynoski has shown enough ability to produce with the ball in his hands that he'll get the edge in Ben McAdoo's new offense ahead of Conner as long as he's healthy.
WIDE RECEIVERS (5)
Trindon Holliday doesn't offer much in the passing game, and it's possible he could get squeezed out if the team decides Beckham, Quintin Demps and either Randle or Jernigan are enough to handle return responsibilities. The Giants signed Holliday before they drafted Beckham, after all. At this point, guys like Corey Washington, Marcus Harris and Preston Parker have shown more than Holliday as receivers, and Parker is another guy they feel they can use on returns. Watching Manningham hobble through these practices, you start to think his chances of making the team are slim. I just don't know yet which of the second-tier guys would replace him if he doesn't make it.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
In spite of the lack of quality experienced options, McAdoo's offense does appear to want to use the tight end a lot. Some Giants fans are hoping an outside name or two can replace some of the ones on this list, but as of now, this is what they have, and they'll hope something decent comes of it. Donnell and Fells seem like the guys who are impressing the coaches the most so far.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
There are injury and health concerns with Beatty and Jerry, but both have been on the field a bit early -- Beatty moreso than the team expected. The Giants signed Brown and Jerry as veteran backups. They like Mosley's upside, and right now he's running with the first team at right guard. He could lose that spot to Jerry or Richburg, but the valuable camp reps will likely make him a useful backup at the very least.
DEFENSIVE LINE (9)
Patterson early in camp. Patterson and Jenkins project as starters at defensive tackle right now, with Kuhn and Hankins in the rotation behind them. But Patterson missed time this last week with a shoulder injury, possibly opening the door to more playing time for second-year man Hankins.
Kennard's been so good so far that, if they only keep five, you wonder about Paysinger's spot a little it. Paysinger has been missing practice time following a concussion, too, which doesn't help. Williams looks like the starter at the weakside spot, even in the base defense, as long as he can stay healthy. And Kennard is a first-teamer right now on the strong side with McClain manning the middle in place of the injured Beason. Herzlich is on the team for special teams, where he has great value.
It helps the numbers that Jayron Hosley will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a drug violation. If he does make the team, the Giants will have to clear a spot for him in Week 5. This group could also swell if the Giants decide they need to keep sixth-round pick Bennett Jackson and/or Charles James for special teams. It's going to be tough to make the Giants' roster as a corner this summer. Jackson sprained his ankle in practice last week and could be out for a while.
It's going to be tricky to get fifth-round pick Berhe on this roster, but the Giants like him enough to make room at the expense of someone like Brewer on the offensive line or Charles James at cornerback.
The kicker competition is legitimate between Brown and Brandon McManus, but McManus didn't have his best week. Look to the preseason games to help you predict that one. The other two spots here are in stone barring injury.