Giants post-NFL Draft depth chart: Improved roster still has some big needs (2024)

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen made his annual post-draft declaration that the roster won’t be finalized for months. But with free agency and the draft completed, the heavy lifting of roster construction is done.

So here’s an updated look at the Giants’ depth chart:

(R) = Rookie

Quarterback

Starter: Daniel Jones
Backups: Drew Lock, Tommy DeVito

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Schoen said he sent Jones a text message before the team officially made its first-round pick. Imagine the feelings swirling through Jones’ head as he opened that text. Instead of finding out the Giants had drafted his replacement, Jones learned the team was adding the best wide receiver of his career in Malik Nabers. Jones lived to see another day after the Giants passed on drafting a quarterback, but his hold on a starting job has never been more tenuous.

Running back

Starter: Devin Singletary
Backups: Eric Gray, Tyrone Tracy (R), Gary Brightwell, Deon Jackson, Jashaun Corbin, Dante Miller (R)

Gray and Tracy are fifth-round picks in the past two drafts. The two youngsters are in line for complementary roles behind Singletary, who has never been a true bell-cow back in his five seasons. This is a spot that could call for a cheap veteran reinforcement, even if that’s just re-signing Matt Breida.

Wide receiver

Starters: Malik Nabers (R), Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson
Backups: Jalin Hyatt, Isaiah Hodgins, Isaiah McKenzie, Gunner Olszewski, Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Miles Boykin, Dennis Houston, Chase Cota

Nabers is expected to be the No. 1 receiver immediately. Despite his contract unrest, Slayton is still the most established receiver on the roster, so he figures to maintain a significant role in the final year of his deal. The plan should be for Hyatt to take on a bigger role this season and eventually replace Slayton. Hodgins is back as solid depth; McKenzie and Olszewski figure to battle for the return job; and Ford-Wheaton and Boykin should battle for a core special teams role.

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Tight end

Starters: Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger
Backups: Jack Stoll, Theo Johnson (R), Chris Manhertz, Lawrence Cager, Tyree Jackson

Waller is listed because he’s still on the roster, but it seems like he’s headed for retirement. That leaves a group without an established receiving threat. The hope is Johnson develops into that type of player, but it’s easy to see why the Giants are giving Waller time to potentially decide to return.

Short notice, but going live with @charlottecrrll now to discuss the Giants' draft. Join here: https://t.co/bKnxZPLR4t

— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) April 29, 2024

Offensive line

Starters: LT Andrew Thomas, LG Jon Runyan, C John Michael Schmitz, RG Jermaine Eluemunor, RT Evan Neal
Backups: G Aaron Stinnie, G Josh Ezeudu, C Austin Schlottmann, G/T Marcus McKethan, T Matt Nelson, G Jalen Mayfield, T Yodny Cajuste, T Joshua Miles, C Jimmy Morrissey

Runyan said he prefers to play left guard, and it makes sense to put him there with the right side unsettled as Neal gets one last shot at right tackle. Schoen received criticism for not drafting any offensive linemen, but if the Giants weren’t going to take one early, it was understandable that they didn’t use any of their limited picks on the position. Young backups like Ezeudu and McKethan will get another shot to show something, while veterans like Stinnie, Schlottmann and Nelson should provide a baseline level of competency as backups.

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Defensive line

Starters: Dexter Lawrence, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Jordan Phillips
Backups: Jordon Riley, DJ Davidson, Ryder Anderson, Timmy Horne

This is a really weak group outside of the dominant Lawrence unless the young recent Day 3 picks, Riley and Davidson, emerge. The one-year, $1.8 million contract Phillips signed in early April may represent the veteran depth signing for this group, but more help could be added.

Outside linebacker

Starters: Brian Burns, Kayvon Thibodeaux
Backups: Azeez Ojulari, Boogie Basham, Tomon Fox, Benton Whitley, Jeremiah Martin

Burns needs to be a game-changer after the investment the Giants made in the 26-year-old. The goal is for Burns and Thibodeaux to form a daunting duo for years. Ojulari has been a disappointment when counted on as a starter the past two seasons, but he may be perfectly cast as the third rusher. There isn’t much here beyond the top three edge rushers, but the Giants have more pressing needs elsewhere if they are going to spend on free agents.

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Inside linebacker

Starters: Bobby Okereke, Micah McFadden
Backups: Isaiah Simmons, Matthew Adams, Darius Muasau (R), Carter Coughlin, Darrian Beavers, Dyontae Johnson

This is a rare position that returns the starters from last season, although McFadden’s role could be reduced with new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen favoring defensive back-heavy packages. It’s still not clear how Simmons will fit in the new scheme. Adams, Muasau and Coughlin will compete for a spot as a backup linebacker/core special teamer.

Giants post-NFL Draft depth chart: Improved roster still has some big needs (5)

Will Giants’ third-round pick Andru Phillips be a Week 1 starter? (Jordan Prather /USA Today)

Cornerback

Starters: Deonte Banks, Nick McCloud, Andru Phillips (R)
Backups: Cor’Dale Flott, Tre Hawkins, Darnay Holmes, Aaron Robinson, Kaleb Hayes, Stantley Thomas-Oliver

This position is screaming out for a veteran addition to stabilize the outside corner spot opposite Banks. As it stands, McCloud, Flott and Hawkins are in line to compete for that job. Using a third-round pick on Phillips suggests he was targeted for the starting slot corner job. Holmes could be a sneaky beneficiary from the defensive coordinator change because his strength is tackling, and that’s an emphasis for Bowen at corner. Robinson has been sidelined since October of 2022 with a knee injury, so this is his last shot after generating some promise early in his career.

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Safety

Starters: Jason Pinnock, Tyler Nubin (R)
Backups: Dane Belton, Jalen Mills, Gervarrius Owens

Nubin is like fellow Minnesota alum Schmitz last year: an experienced college player drafted in the second round at a position that needs a Day 1 starter. Even if he doesn’t start, Belton could still have a prominent role in Bowen’s DB-heavy packages. Mills figures to be an insurance policy throughout the secondary.

Special teams

Starters: K Graham Gano, P Jamie Gillan, LS Casey Kreiter

The veteran trio is back for another ride, with Gano looking to bounce back after a knee injury ended last season prematurely.

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(Photo: Kirby Lee / USA Today)

Giants post-NFL Draft depth chart: Improved roster still has some big needs (2024)
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