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Making a 53-man roster out of active ex-Giants

The NFL is a league of significant turnover. Every offseason, team rosters are churned and free agency leads to the recycling of personnel.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the production from all ex-New York Giants players currently in the league. That led us to think: Could we make a 53-man roster entirely out of former Giants?

Well, as it turns out, we could.

Here are the ground rules we set for this exercise:

  • All players/coaches had to have been on a 90-man roster or practice squad at some point during the 2023 season (dating back to March 15, 2023) with one exception (below).

  • Players who weren’t in the NFL in 2023 were still considered if they were active in another league (CFL, XFL, etc.) this past season.

  • Players/coaches had to have been on the Giants’ 90-man roster, 53-man roster, or practice squad for at least one day at some point in their careers.

  • Construction of the 53-man had to be realistic and balanced in terms of numbers at each position (ie. couldn’t go 1 RB and 10 WR). Players also had to be listed at a position they’ve played (ie. couldn’t put a TE along the OL, etc.).

This is what we came up with…

Quarterback (3)

  • Geno Smith

  • Cooper Rush

  • Josh Johnson

Commentary: This was an easy and obvious decision. Smith is, by far, the best active ex-Giants quarterback in the league. Rush is a solid backup and Johnson is a savvy, experienced veteran.

Running back (4)

  • Corey Clement

  • Antonio Williams

  • Sandro Platzgummer

  • Chris Myarick (H-Back/FB/TE)

Commentary: Well… This was not a great scenario for the team. Most ex-Giants running backs weren’t in the league in 2023 and even if they had been, the pickings were slim.

Wide receiver (6)

  • Odell Beckham Jr.

  • Kadarius Toney

  • Richie James Jr.

  • Jamison Crowder

  • Kalif Raymond

  • Collin Johnson

Commentary: This may not be the best wide receiver group out there but they would have some potential. A healthy OBJ can still be very productive and maybe Toney finally turns it on at some point. James, Raymond, and Crowder would also help the special teams unit.

Tight end (3)

  • Evan Engram

  • Tanner Hudson

  • Jordan Akins

Commentary: Engram may not have lived up to his potential in New York but he sure has in Jacksonville. He’s arguably one of the best tight ends in football at the moment and this team would need that production given their thin wide receiver group. Hudson is also surprisingly productive.

Offensive line (10)

  • LT D.J. Fluker

  • LG Nick Gates

  • C Jon Feliciano

  • RG Kevin Zeitler

  • RT Cam Fleming

  • OT Jaylon Thomas

  • OT Roy Mbaeteka

  • OL Will Hernandez

  • OL Max Garcia

  • OL Evan Brown

Commentary: The tackles sure aren’t going to inspire much confidence but once again, the pickings were slim. The interior offensive line is solid and their reserves are quality players but just like the Giants in real life, this team has major issues at left and right tackle.

Defensive line (6)

  • Leonard Williams

  • B.J. Hill

  • Dalvin Tomlinson

  • Johnathan Hankins

  • John Jenkins

  • Austin Johnson

Commentary: The Giants sure do churn out quality defensive linemen, don’t they? Although this group is aging, it looks like one of the team’s best units on paper. All six players are above average.

Edge/Linebacker (8)

  • Lorenzo Carter

  • Jason Pierre-Paul

  • Markus Golden

  • Romeo Okwara

  • Niko Lalos

  • Blake Martinez

  • David Mayo

  • Tae Davis

Commentary: This is an interesting group and most are probably past their prime. Still, there is some quality here. It could have been worse.

Cornerback (6)

  • James Bradberry

  • Isaac Yiadom

  • Eli Apple

  • Fabian Moreau

  • Antonio Hamilton

  • Corey Ballentine

Commentary: Except for Ballentine, this group consists of seasoned vets. Bradberry has a down year but could still produce in the right system, while Yiadom and Moreau are coming off solid seasons. Apple would be barred from speaking to reporters and using social media.

Safety (4)

  • Julian Love

  • Jabrill Peppers

  • Logan Ryan

  • Terrell Burgess

Commentary: This is a tremendous safety group and would arguably be the best in football today. Love had a career season, Peppers is arguably the Patriots’ defensive MVP and Burgess is a tremendous special teams asset. Ryan is a savvy veteran and locker-room leader.

Special teams (3)

  • LS Taybor Pepper

  • K Chris Boswell

  • P Riley Dixon

Commentary: There wasn’t an abundance of options when it came to the special teams trio, but all three are solid players at their position. This is a very capable, albeit boring unit.

Coaching staff

  • Head coach: Dan Campbell

  • Offensive coordinator: Sean Payton

  • Defensive coordinator: Steve Spagnuolo

  • Special teams coordinator: Chase Blackburn

Commentary: We could toss in Davis Webb as the quarterbacks coach, too.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire