1999 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): Kent Graham, Kerry Collins, Mike Cherry, and Steve Buck.
Not so obvious as many might think. Buck has good tools to work with and may force Cherry, who disappointed in NFL Europe, off the roster. The biggest battle in camp will be between Graham and Collins for the starting quarterback job.
Halfback (4): Gary Brown, Joe Montgomery, Tiki Barber, LeShon Johnson, and Sean Bennett.
This is a tough one. One would think Brown, Montgomery, and Bennett are locks. The Giants are not likely to cut the latter two, given their lofty draft status. That would leave Barber battling Johnson for the final roster spot unless the Giants decide to keep five halfbacks.
Fullback (2): Charles Way, Greg Comella, and Raymond Priester.
Way and Comella are locks, unless Fassel wants to go with five halfbacks. If he does, Comella is probably a goner.
Tight End (3): Pete Mitchell, Howard Cross, Dan Campbell, Scott Dragos, Todd Pollack, and Andy Haase.
This one is easy. Mitchell, Cross, and Campbell make it unless one of the others shows enough to encourage Fassel to release Cross. That’s not likely.
Wide Receiver (5): Ike Hilliard, Amani Toomer, Joe Jurevicius, Brian Alford, David Patten, Fred Brock, Ray Curry, Anthony Tucker, and James Kidd.
In the past, the Giants have kept six here, but the logjam at running back may prevent that this year. Hilliard, Toomer, Jurevicius, and Alford are locks. The fifth spot will likely come down to Patten versus Brock.
Offensive Line (9): Scott Gragg, Ron Stone, Brian Williams, Luke Petitgout, Roman Oben, Toby Myles, Nate Miller, Mike Rosenthal, Lance Scott, Derek Engler, Jason Whittle, Emmett Zitelli, Dan Lauta, Scott Kiernan, and Greg Davis.
Gragg, Stone, Williams, Petitgout, Oben, and Myles are the obvious players. That leaves three spots for nine others.
Defensive Tackle (4-5): Keith Hamilton, Robert Harris, Christian Peter, George Williams, Keith Council, Ryan Hale, and Steve Konopka.
The Giants kept five defensive tackles last year; that might not be possible this year. Hamilton, Harris, and Peter will make the roster. The final one or two roster spots will most likely come down to a competition between Williams, Hale, and Konopka.
Defensive End (3-4): Michael Strahan, Cedric Jones, Bernard Holsey, Charles Estes, Rasheed Simmons, Gerg Derrick, and Frank Ferrara.
Strahan, Jones, and Holsey will make it. The final spot will probably be fought for by four others. There is a chance the Giants could go with three ends, since Hamilton and Harris have experience playing end too.
Middle Linebacker (2-3): Corey Widmer, Doug Colman, Pete Monty, O.J. Childress.
Widmer is a sure thing and Colman most likely is too. Monty and Childress will battle for possibly one roster spot – special teams ability should play a big factor in deciding who, if anyone, stays.
Outside Linebacker (4-5): Jessie Armstead, Marcus Buckley, Ryan Phillips, Scott Galyon, Jesse Tarplin, Kenny Sanders, and Chike Egbuniwe.
The Giants need an infusion of talent at this position and if any of the young guys shows anything, especially on special teams, he will have a good shot at unseating a veteran. Armstead and Buckley are most likely locks. Buckley is just too versatile to let go right now. He can help out on both sides and in the nickel. It’s time for Phillips to put up or depart. Galyon is coming off of a serious injury. If healthy, he sticks. There is an opportunity here for Tarplin and Sanders.
Safety (4-5): Sam Garnes, Shaun Williams, Percy Ellsworth, Lyle West, Tre Thomas, and Ty Ardoin.
Garnes, Williams, and West are locks. So too is Ellsworth if he doesn’t bitch too much once Williams beats him out for the starting job. Excelling on special teams will help the cause of Thomas or Ardoin.
Cornerback (5-6): Phillippi Sparks, Jason Sehorn, Conrad Hamilton, Jeremy Lincoln, Andre Weathers, Kelvin Suggs, Cedric Stephens, Reggie Stephens, and Bashir Levington.
Sparks, Sehorn, and Hamilton are locks. Levington will make the team or not depending solely on his return skills. Lincoln, Weathers, Suggs, C. Stephens, and Reggie Stephens will most likely vie for two spots. Special teams once again will play a huge role.
Punter and Kicker (2): Brad Daluiso, Brad Maynard, Brion Hurley, and Francesco Biancamano.
Daluiso and Maynard form the kicking team.
The battles to watch:
- Kerry Collins versus Kent Graham for the starting quarterback job. Mike Cherry versus Steve Buck for the third string job.
- Tiki Barber versus LeShon Johnson versus Greg Comella for playing time and possibly a roster spot.
- David Patten versus Fred Brock for a roster spot.
- Nate Miller, Mike Rosenthal, Lance Scott, Derek Engler, Jason Whittle, Emmett Zitelli, Dan Lauta, Scott Kiernan, and Greg Davis fighting for three roster spots.
- George Williams, Keith Council, Ryan Hale, and Steve Konopka fighting for one or two roster spots.
- Charles Estes, Rasheed Simmons, Gerg Derrick, and Frank Ferrara fighting for one roster spot.
- Pete Monty, O.J. Childress, Ryan Phillips, Scott Galyon, Jesse Tarplin, Kenny Sanders, and Chike Egbuniwe fighting for three roster spots.
- Tre Thomas, Ty Ardoin, Jeremy Lincoln, Andre Weathers, Kelvin Suggs, Cedric Stephens, Reggie Stephens, and Bashir Levington fighting for probably three roster spots.