Thursday, May 15, 2014
Giants' depth chart: Offense
By Dan Graziano
A look at where I think things stand with the offensive side of the New York Giants' depth chart following free agency and the draft.
Obviously, there's no threat to the top spot. But Manning's recovery from April ankle surgery could offer spring and summer opportunities for Nassib or Freeman to win the No. 2 spot from Painter.
Wilson is the wild-card in the mix. He may not be cleared to play at all following neck surgery, though the Giants say they believe he will. If he's not, Jennings should get a lot of carries as long as he can stay healthy and help protect Manning in the passing game.
"X" Wide receiver
Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham was drafted with this role in mind -- to play the split end receiver position because they believe he can get separation from defenders and beat man coverage with his speed. If he can't win a starter's job in camp, they'll need to go with one of those other options, neither of which is ideal for the role.
"Z" wide receiver
If they only have two receivers on the field, slot man Victor Cruz is likely to be one of them. But when they go three-wide, Randle is likely to get a chance to show he's developing into a threat on the outside. Manningham remains a question mark due to the health of his knee.
Slot wide receiver
Cruz is paid as a top slot receiver, and after drafting Beckham the Giants admitted they'd like to keep him inside as much as possible. If the new offense is anything like what new coordinator Ben McAdoo was helping run in Green Bay, it could be tailor-made for Cruz as a playmaker with the ball in his hands.
Robinson enters his third year, and as of now this opportunity is his if he wants it and can stay healthy. Grimble's signing as an undrafted free agent is expected but has yet to be announced by the team. Donnell is a special teamer who has impressed with his work ethic and could get a shot if other options falter.
If Hynoski is back all the way healthy, I think he has the edge here as a more nimble run-blocker in McAdoo's system.
If Beatty's recovery from his Week 17 leg fracture is slow, there's a chance the Giants could move second-year right tackle Justin Pugh to this side.
Schwartz was signed as a free agent to start here. If he gets hurt, their hope is that Jerry isn't already working on the other side and can step in ahead of the younger guys.
Walton still likely ranks higher on the Giants' real depth chart than second-rounder Richburg, but I'm predicting the rookie wins the starting job. He sounds like the guy they want to handle center responsibilities, which will expand under McAdoo.
The Giants and Snee are optimistic about his recovery from his second hip surgery in as many years, but he could wear down quickly in camp and elevate Jerry to a starting role. That would damage the Giants' depth on the line, which was a massive problem in 2013.
There remains a chance that Pugh could ultimately be asked to switch sides or move inside to play guard. But they liked what he gave them as a 16-game starter at right tackle as a rookie, and right now they will leave him there.