1998 New York Giants Roster Analysis Heading into Training Camp
The following is an attempt to predict what the Giants’ final 53-man roster may look like by the end of training camp. After first listing the likely number of roster spots spent at each position (in bold), we will list each player and breakdown each unit. In this way, it is hoped that we will be able to identify the key upcoming roster battles. Please note, of course, that our predictions cannot take into account injuries any current player may suffer in the future — injuries which may influence this analysis.
Quarterback (3): Danny Kanell, Kent Graham, Mike Cherry, and Ben Anderson.
This one is easy. Anderson was merely signed to add another arm in camp.
Halfback (3): Tiki Barber, Tyrone Wheatley, Gary Brown, and Lamont Randle.
This one would have been a lot harder to predict had not LeShon Johnson been diagnosed with cancer. Barber, Wheatley, and Brown all make the team. The bigger question is who will start?
Fullback (2): Charles Way, Eric Lane, and Greg Comella.
Obviously Way is a no-brainer, but there will be a heck of a fight for the back-up spot. Lane is bigger and has the advantage of having a year under his belt. Comella is highly regarded by some and is a fine pass receiver.
Tight End (3): Howard Cross, Alfred Pupunu, Todd Pollack, and Andy Haase.
Cross and Pupunu will make the team and Pollack and Haase will battle for the final roster spot (the loser, if he shows enough, should end up on the practice squad). Cross remains one of the best blocking TE’s in the game. Pupunu is a good blocker and a better receiver, but has some injury question marks. Pollack and Haase are more known for their receiving talents — both need to work on their blocking. Pollack has a huge advantage over Haase in that he can long snap.
Wide Receiver (6): Chris Calloway, Ike Hilliard, Amani Toomer, David Patten, John Washington, Omar Douglas, Eddie Goines, Joe Jurevicius, and Brian Alford.
This may be the most competitive area to watch in camp this year. Calloway, Hilliard, Jurevicius, and Alford are the sure things. Toomer and Goines have looked great in offseason drills and Patten has improved and provides special teams value. Douglas is a fast guy who Fassel keeps mentioning. Toomer, Goines, Patten, and Douglas will most likely be fighting for two spots.
Offensive Line (9-10): RT Scott Gragg, LT Roman Oben, OT/OG/OC Jerry Reynolds, LT Toby Myles, OT Darryl Gilliam, RG Ron Stone, LG Greg Bishop, OG Rob Zatechka, OG Greg Studdard, OG Jason Whittle, OC Lance Scott, OC Bryan Stoltenberg, OC/OG Derek Engler, OC Marc Lamb, OC Ben Fricke, and OC Corey Bailey.
Gragg, Oben, Reynolds, Stone, Bishop, and Scott are the obvious players. That leaves four roster spots. One will be a back-up center. Stoltenberg, Engler, Lamb, Fricke, and Bailey will be fighting for one spot. Myles, Gilliam, Zatechka, Studdard, and Whittle will be battling for two (if the Giants keep nine offensive linemen) or three (if they keep ten) spots.
Defensive Tackle (4): Keith Hamilton, Robert Harris, Christian Peter, Brad Keeney, Nate Hobgood-Chittick, George Williams, and Hunter Adams.
Hamilton, Harris, and Peter will make the roster. The final roster spot will most likely come down to a competition between Keeney and Hobgood-Chittick.
Defensive End (4): Michael Strahan, Chad Bratzke, Cedric Jones, Bernard Holsey, Chris Snyder, Jimmie Bell, and Charles Estes.
This one should be easy. Strahan, Bratzke, Jones, and Holsey make the team. Estes has one more year of military service. Bell and Snyder have to hope for the practice squad.
Middle Linebacker (3): Corey Widmer, Pete Monty, and Doug Colman.
All three will make the team.
Outside Linebacker (4-5): Jessie Armstead, Corey Miller, Ryan Phillips, Scott Galyon, Marcus Buckley, Marcel Willis, and Jason Nevadomsky.
This is a tough one. Armstead, Phillips, Galyon, and Buckley all make the team. Miller has to hope that Phillips isn’t ready yet and the coaches are wrong about Buckley if the Giants are to carry five.
Safety (5): FS Tito Wooten, FS Percy Ellsworth, FS Brandon Sanders, SS Sam Garnes, SS Rodney Young, and FS/SS Shaun Williams.
Easy. Wooten, Ellsworth, Sanders, Garnes, and Williams all make it.
Cornerback (4-5): Phillippi Sparks, Jason Sehorn, Conrad Hamilton, Kory Blackwell, Robert Massey, Raphaol Ball, Rashee Johnson, and Jeremy Lincoln.
Much depends here on how many offensive linemen and outside linebackers the Giants carry. Sparks, Sehorn, and Hamilton all make it. Blackwell, Massey, Ball, Johnson, and Lincoln will be battling for one or two spots.
Punter and Kicker (2): PK Brad Daluiso, P Brad Maynard, and P Will Brice.
Daluiso and Maynard form the kicking team.
The battles to watch:
- Barber, Wheatley, and Brown fighting for the starting halfback job.
- Lane and Comella fighting for the back-up fullback roster spot.
- Cross and Pupunu fighting for the starting tight end spot.
- Toomer, Goines, Patten, and Douglas fighting for two roster spots at wide receiver.
- Stoltenberg, Engler, Lamb, Fricke, and Bailey fighting for the back-up center spot.
- Myles, Gilliam, Zatechka, Studdard, and Whittle fighting for two or three roster spots at guard/tackle.
- Keeney versus Hobgood-Chittick for a back-up defensive tackle spot.
- Corey Miller versus Phillips/Buckley at strongside linebacker.
- Blackwell, Massey, Ball, Johnson, and Lincoln will be battling for one or two back-up cornerback spots.