New York Giants Scouting Reports

 

Scouting Reports Last Updated: January 23, 2022

Quarterbacks:

After a promising rookie season, Daniel Jones had his second disappointing year in a row in 2021. He missed the final six games of the year with a neck injury that the team has yet to be fully transparent about. Jones finished 2021 completing 64 percent of his passes for just 2,428 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He also ran the ball 62 times for 298 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants were 4-7 in games that he started. Jones also did not have the type of year hoped for or expected in 2020. Missing two games due to leg injuries (hamstring and ankle), Jones started 14 games and completed 62.5 percent of his passes for just 2,943 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He rushed the ball 65 times for 423 yards and one touchdown. Jones’ productivity fell from his somewhat stellar rookie season, when he started 12 games, completing 62 percent of his passes for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. On the positive side, the fumbling issues that have plagued Jones have lessoned as his fumbles decreased from 18 in 2019 to 11 in 2020 to seven in 2021. The Giants drafted Jones in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Jones has classic quarterback size and is a good athlete who can hurt teams with his feet. He has good but not great arm strength. Jones is competitive, smart, tough, and hard-working. However, it simply has not clicked for him at the NFL level. Part of that is due to his surrounding talent, but he also has not elevated the play of those around him. He has also proven to be injury prone, missing time each season. Jones is 12-25 as a starting quarterback.

The Giants signed Mike Glennon as an unrestricted free agent from the Jacksonville Jaguars in March 2021, being pegged as the team’s #2 quarterback. After Daniel Jones was lost due to a neck injury, Glennon started four games in December and January. He also played significant snaps in two other games. All six games were losses, with Glennon finishing the year 0-4 as a starter, completing just 54 percent of his passes for 790 yards, four touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. His quarterback rating was a dreadful 49.7. He was even briefly benched for third-stringer Jake Fromm. Glennon also missed the last game of the season with a wrist injury that required surgery. The 6’7”, 225-pound Glennon was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The well-traveled Glennon has spent time with the Buccaneers (2013-2016), Chicago Bears (2017), Arizona Cardinals (2018), Oakland Raiders (2019), and Jaguars (2020). He has played in 40 regular-season games with 31 starts, completing 60 percent of his passes for 7,025 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 35 interceptions. Glennon is only 6-25 as starter however. He has good size and a decent arm, but he simply is not a consistent enough thrower to succeed in the NFL.

The Giants signed Jake Fromm to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Buffalo Bills in late November 2021. Due to injuries to the other quarterbacks and the ineffective play of Mike Glennon, Fromm unbelievably was thrust into the starting line-up for two games and coming off the bench in a third. The results were not good, with Fromm completing 45 percent of his passes for 210 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. He finished with a terrible 38.9 quarterback rating and was 0-2 as a starter. The 6’2”, 215-pound Fromm was originally drafted by the Bills in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He lacks ideal stature, arm strength, and accuracy.

Brian Lewerke was signed late in the preseason in August 2021 and then to the Practice Squad in early September 2021. The 6’3”, 216-pound Lewerke was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots waived him in early September 2020.

Running Backs:

Coming off a devastating knee injury, Saquon Barkley had another disappointing season in 2021 and it is now doubtful that he will ever regain his MVP-caliber form from his rookie season in 2018. In 2021, Barkley started all 13 games he played in, missing four contests with an ankle injury. He finished the season with 162 carries for 593 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and just two touchdowns. Barkley also caught 41 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants drafted Barkley with the #2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He became only the third rookie in NFL history to accrue 2,000 yards from scrimmage and breaking a number of franchise records. He also was voted to the Pro Bowl and named “Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year,” “FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year,” “Pro Football Writers of America Offensive Rookie of the Year,” and “Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.” Barkley started all 16 games, rushing 261 times for 1,307 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. Barkley also led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. The latter figure is the highest single-season total by a Giants player since the 1970 merger. After that stellar rookie season, Barkley endured a forgettable sophomore season as a pro. A high-ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 3 nagged him much of the remainder of the season. Nevertheless, Barkley still rushed 217 times for 1,003 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. He also caught 52 passes for 438 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants placed Barkley on Injured Reserve in late September 2020 after he tore the ACL, partially tore the meniscus, and sprained the MCL in his right knee in Week 2. He finished the season with 19 carries for 34 yards (1.8 yards per carry) and six catches for 60 yards. Barkley does not appear to be the same back he was as a rookie. He has become a softer, more tentative runner. And his old explosive lateral agility seems gone. Barkley never developed into a reliable pass protector.

The Giants signed Devontae Booker as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2021. He ended up playing in 16 games, with four starts when Saquon Barkley was out with an ankle injury. Booker finished the season with 145 carries for 593 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He also caught 40 passes for 268 yards and one touchdown. Booker did not fumble the ball. The 5’11”, 219-pound Booker was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He signed with the Raiders in May 2020. Booker is a no-nonsense, north-south runner who lacks elusiveness and creativity. He is an asset in the passing game as a pass protector and receiver.

The Giants drafted Gary Brightwell in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He played in 13 games as a rookie with no starts, serving primarily on special teams, where he was credited with eight special teams tackles. The Giants placed him on Injured Reserve in late December 2021 with a neck injury. Brightwell is a big, physical, no-nonsense, downhill runner with good speed and acceleration for his size. He is not a particularly creative running back, being more of a one-speed, one-cut slasher.

Fullbacks:

Eli Penny has served as the team’s primary fullback for the last four seasons. In 2021, Penny played in all 17 games, with three starts. He played 13 percent of offensive snaps 62 percent of special teams snaps (eight special teams tackles). Penny carried the ball 24 times for 99 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also caught nine passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. The 6’1”, 250-pound Penny was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Penny off of the Practice Squad of the Arizona Cardinals in September 2018. He has played in 61 regular-season games for the Giants with seven starts. Penny is a well-rounded player who can block, run, and catch the football.

The Giants signed fullback Cullen Gillaspia in March 2021 after he was waived/failed physical by the Houston Texans. He ended up playing in 15 games for the Giants with no starts, with virtually all of his playing time coming on special teams (65 percent of special teams snaps). The 6’2”, 235-pound Gillaspia was drafted by the Texans in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Wide Receivers:

The Giants signed Kenny Golladay as an unrestricted free agent from the Detroit Lions in March 2021 to a 4-year, $72 million contract. His initial season with New York was a colossal disappointment. Golladay started all 14 games that he played in, missing three with a knee injury. He finished the season with just 37 catches for 521 yards and no touchdowns. The 6’4”, 214-pound Golladay was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Lions. After a nondescript rookie season, Golladay excelled his next two seasons, catching 70 passes for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns in 2018 and 65 catches for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019. Golladay missed 11 games in 2020 with hamstring and hip injuries. He finished with just 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns in five games. Golladay has superb size for a receiver and has a knack for beating defensive backs for contested 50/50 balls. However, he lacks dynamic speed and quickness to separate from corners on a consistent basis.

The Giants drafted Kadarius Toney in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL Draft. His rookie season was virtually wiped out due to multiple health issues, including two bouts with COVID and hamstring, ankle, thumb, quad, oblique, and shoulder injuries. Toney did play in 10 games, with four starts, but he finished the year with just 39 catches for 420 yards and no touchdowns. While Toney did flash, particularly in Week 5 against the Cowboys, he simply could not stay healthy. Toney is an average-sized receiver who plays bigger than his size (6’0”, 193 pounds), with decent speed and outstanding balance and quickness. Versatile, Toney was used outside, in the slot, and even out of the backfield at Florida. He has tremendous acceleration and change-of-direction skills, which makes him very dangerous after the catch. He creates separation and makes defenders miss. Toney needs work on reading defenses, route running, and overall technique. Toney also has experience rushing and returning the football. He has a strong arm and can even throw the ball.

Sterling Shepard had a horrible season in 2021, culminating with a torn left Achilles’ tendon injury in mid-December that at the very least puts his future with the team in doubt. Before that, Shepard had already missed seven games with hamstring and quad injuries. He finished the year playing in seven games, catching just 36 passes for 366 yards and one touchdown. He also dropped four passes. Shepard was selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Giants. Shepard started all 16 games in 2016 and 2018, but has now missed significant time due to injury in his four other seasons. He has never come close to cracking the 1,000-yard mark in a single season or duplicating his 8-touchdown season of his rookie campaign (he now has 21 career touchdowns). Shepard lacks ideal size and speed, but he is a fluid athlete with good quickness. Shepard runs good routes, is tough going over the middle, and adjusts well to the football. Shepard is not a consistent deep threat, but more of a move-the-chains underneath target who is ideally suited for the slot position. He needs to make more big plays. Good blocker.

After an impressive rookie season, Darius Slayton has had two disappointing seasons in a row. The Giants drafted Slayton in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he played in 14 games with nine starts, catching 48 passes for 740 yards and eight touchdowns. Despite starting six more games in 2020, Slayton’s catch and yardage figures plateaued at 50 and 751. Worse, he only scored three times. In 2021, Slayton played in 13 games with five starts. He missed three games with a hamstring injury and one game due to COVID. Slayton finished the year with a disappointing 26 catches for 339 yards and two touchdowns despite playing 64 percent of all offensive snaps. He dropped a total of 12 passes in 2020 and 2021, and his drop percentage was over 10 percent in 2021. Slayton combines good size with very good overall athleticism and speed. Slayton can stretch the field and get deep. He can adjust well to the football, and is dangerous after the catch. To reach the next level, he must become a more physical receiver, including beating press coverage, and become more consistent catching the football.

The Giants signed the injury-prone John Ross as an unrestricted free agent from the Cincinnati Bengals in March 2021 with the hope that he might finally stay healthy and become a consistent deep threat. It did not happen. Ross missed seven games (hamstring, knee, COVID). He played in 10 contests with one start and finished the season with with just 11 catches for 224 yards and one touchdown despite playing in 33 percent of offensive snaps. The 5’11”, 194-pound Ross was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Bengals. In four seasons with the Bengals, the speedy Ross played in just 27 games with 20 starts, accruing 51 catches for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns. In addition to not performing up to expectations in Cincinnati, Ross spent time on Injured Reserve with shoulder and foot injuries in 2019 and 2020.

The Giants claimed Collin Johnson off of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars in early September 2021. He ended up playing in 12 games for the Giants, with one start, and finished the season with 11 catches for 105 yards and no touchdowns. The 6’6”, 222-pound Johnson was originally drafted in the 5th-round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Jaguars. As a rookie, he played in 14 NFL games with no starts, catching 18 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns.

C.J. Board was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021, elevated to the 53-man roster for a couple of games, and then signed to the 53-man roster in late September. He fractured his forearm in Week 6 and was placed on Injured Reserve. Board played in six games with one start, finishing the season with four catches for 51 yards. The 6’1”, 181-pound Board was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2017), Tennessee Titans (2017), Cleveland Browns (2017-2018), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2018-2019). The Giants claimed Board off of waivers from the Jaguars in August 2020. He surprisingly played in 14 games, including four starts, but only finished with 11 catches for 101 yards and no touchdowns. Before coming to the Giants, his only regular-season experience came in 2019 when his played in four games for the Jaguars and finished the year with just two catches for 31 yards.

Dante Pettis was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021 and the 53-man roster in October. He was then placed on Injured Reserve in early November with a shoulder injury. Pettis played in three games, with no starts, and finished with 10 catches for 87 yards and one touchdown. The 6’1”, 195-pound Pettis was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants claimed Pettis off of waivers from the 49ers in early November 2020. He played in the final two games of the season for the Giants, catching four passes for 76 yards and one touchdown. Overall, Pettis has played in 33 regular-season games, with 12 starts. Pettis has experience returning kickoffs and punts.

David Sills was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021. He was also added to the 53-man roster for one game in October and one game in January as well as being elevated to two other games as a COVID replacement. In all, Sills played in four games with one start, finishing with two catches for 17 yards. The 6’3”, 211-pound Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Sills to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. The Giants then signed him to the 53-man roster in mid-December 2019. He did not play in a game however. Sills was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve in early September 2020 with a broken right foot.

Alex Bachman was signed to the Practice Squad in early November 2021 after being waived with an injury settlement in early September. He was elevated from the Practice Squad for three games but did not have a catch. The 6’0”, 190-pound Bachman was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Rams cut him before the season started and the Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in November 2019. Bachman also spent two stints on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020.

The Giants signed Travis Toivonen to the Practice Squad in October 2021, cut him in November, and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in December. The 6’4”, 212-pound Toivonen went undrafted in 2020. The Seattle Seahawks signed him in June 2021 and waived him in late August. 

Tight Ends/H-Backs:

In his fifth NFL season, Evan Engram simply has not developed into the player hoped for when he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. An undersized, receiving-type tight end with subpar blocking skills, Engram’s productivity in the passing game has been disappointing. He has averaged 52 catches, 566 yards, and three touchdowns per season. Engram finished 2021 with 46 catches for 408 yards and three touchdowns. He is very athletic with excellent speed and quickness for the position, and flashes big play-making ability. However, he is not a reliable player. Engram tends to disappear for long stretches of games and the season. He drops too many passes (17 in the last two seasons) and cannot be counted on in the clutch. Engram also has been somewhat injury prone.

The Giants signed Kyle Rudolph in March 2021 after he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings. He did not have the type of impact they hoped, especially in the red zone. While he played in 16 games with 13 starts, Rudolph finished the year with just 26 catches for 257 yards and one touchdown. The 6’6”, 265-pound Rudolph was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In 10 seasons with the Vikings, Rudolph has played in 140 regular-season games with 132 starts, catching 453 passes for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2017. In his mid-30s, Rudolph is clearly nearing the end of the line.

Kaden Smith was placed on Injured Reserve in early December 2021 with a knee injury that bothered him most of the season. Smith only ended up playing in nine games with four starts, and finished the season with just 3 catches for 33 yards. Smith was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants claimed Smith off of waivers from the San Francisco 49ers in September 2019. In 2019 and 2020, Smith served as the team’s top reserve tight end, catching 49 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns in those two seasons. While not a dynamic athlete, Smith has good size (6’5”, 249 pounds), runs good routes, and catches the ball well. He is decent blocker.

The Giants placed Levine Toilolo on Injured Reserve in early August 2021 after he suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in his right foot in training camp. The team’s third tight end in 2020, Toilolo played in all 16 games with two starts (27 percent of all offensive snaps). He finished with just five catches for 46 yards. The 6’8”, 268-pound Toilolo was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He has spent time with the Falcons (2013-2017), Detroit Lions (2018), and San Francisco 49ers (2019). The Giants signed Toilolo as an unrestricted free agent from the 49ers in March 2020. In eight NFL seasons, Toilolo has played in 124 regular-season games with 69 starts. Toilolo is a huge tight end who is a better blocker than receiver.

Jake Hausmann spent multiple stints on the Giants’ Practice Squad in 2021. The 6’4”, 255-pound Hausmann was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Detroit Lions after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Hausmann off of waivers from the Lions in early August 2021.

The Giants placed Rysen John on Injured Reserve in August 2021 with an ankle injury that he suffered in the preseason. The Giants originally signed John as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured John in early September 2020 with a hamstring injury and then signed to the Practice Squad in late October 2020. The 6’7”, 220-pound John was a receiver in college.

Offensive Tackles:

In his second season with the Giants, despite nagging foot and ankle injuries that caused him to miss four games and affected his play all year, Andrew Thomas rapidly improved at left tackle. Thomas ended up starting 13 games at left tackle, usually shutting down his opponent in pass protection while providing above-average run blocking. He was flagged five times (four false starts, one holding). The Giants drafted Thomas in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft. An inconsistent rookie, Thomas started 15 games at left tackle despite playing on a left ankle injury that required offseason surgery in January 2021. Thomas has a big frame (6’5”, 315lbs) and long arms. He is a strong, physical run blocker who can get movement at the point-of-attack. He is athletic enough to get to the second level and works to finish his blocks. Thomas is a good athlete and he flashes excellent pass protection skills, but he still needs to improve his overall technique and consistency in that department. He has the ability to develop into an elite tackle.

Nate Solder beat out Matt Peart for the starting right tackle job in 2021. He ended up starting 16 games (15 at right tackle, one at left tackle), but struggled all season as both a pass and run blocker. In March 2018, the Giants made Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL when they signed him away from the New England Patriots as unrestricted free agent. In his four years with New York, Solder simply has not delivered at either tackle spot, being regularly-abused in pass protection. He also missed all of 2020 as a COVID-19 opt out. The 6’8”, 325-pound Solder was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Patriots. In nine seasons, Solder has started 143 of the 146 regular-season games he has played in. He is a long, lean tackle but there has been a noticeable decline in his overall athleticism and consistency that marked his days with the Patriots. His tenure with the Giants may be over.

2021 was a very disappointing season for Matt Peart. The Giants selected Peart in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Peart played in 11 games with one start at left tackle. He did play in 15 percent of all offensive snaps, receiving some quality playing time. Heading into training camp in 2021, it was anticipated that Peart would be the opening-day starter at right tackle. However, he was beat out by Nate Solder. Peart ended up playing in 15 games with five starts in 2021 (three at left tackle, two at right tackle) and was up-and-down in his play. The offensive line coach publicly questioned his toughness during the middle of the season. Peart tore the ACL in his left knee in late December, ending his season and putting into doubt his availability for the 2022 season. Peart combines excellent size, long arms, and good overall athletic ability. But he may simply lack the physicality needed to play at the NFL level.

Korey Cunningham was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021 and the 53-man roster in October. He ended up playing in 12 games with no starts. His only significant playing time came in Week 16 at right tackle, filling in for the injured Matt Peart. Cunningham played 88 percent of the snaps in that game, but struggled as both a pass protector and run blocker. The 6’6”, 311-pound Cunningham was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was traded to the New England Patriots in August 2019. The Patriots cut Cunningham in late August 2021. In four NFL seasons, Cunningham has played in 30 regular-season games, with six starts, all with the Cardinals in 2018. He has experience at both tackle positions.

Devery Hamilton was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2021. The 6’6”, 311-pound Hamilton was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Las Vegas Raiders after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Raiders released him from their Practice Squad in September 2021.

Offensive Guards:

In his fourth year with the team, despite a promising rookie season and starting 56 of the 62 games he has played in, Will Hernandez has not progressed as a player. He continues to consistently struggle in pass protection, especially on against twists and stunts. Hernandez was also flagged six times in 2021, with four false starts. The Giants selected Hernandez in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was named named to Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team. After starting every game in his first two years in the league at left guard in 2018 and 2019, Hernandez lost his starting position to Shane Lemieux in 2020 after the seventh game of the season. Hernandez also missed two games in early November that season due to COVID-19. The Giants shifted him to right guard in 2021, and he started all 17 games at that position. Hernandez has good size, strength, and toughness for the guard position, but he appears to lack lateral agility and mental dexterity needed to react to defensive line games.

Matt Skura was signed to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in September 2021. He surprisingly ended up starting the final 14 games of the season (13 at left guard, one at center). Overall, while a heady player, Skura simply lacked the power presence needed for interior line play in the NFL. He was more of a liability as a run and pass blocker, being mismatched against better defensive tackles. Skura was also flagged four times. The 6’3”, 310-pound Skura was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Ravens’ Practice Squad. In 2017, Skura started 12 games at right guard for the Ravens. He became the starting center in 2018, and started 27 consecutive regular-season games at the position in two seasons, missing five games due to a knee injury in 2019. Skura started 12 more games at center in 2020, missing one week due to COVID. He signed with the Miami Dolphins in March 2021, but they waived him in late August.

The Giants acquired Ben Bredeson by trade from the Baltimore Ravens in late August 2021. He did not make the contribution hoped for, playing in just eight games with one start at left guard in Week 3. Bredeson missed five games due to hand and ankle injuries. In the eight games he did play, Bredeson did play 56 percent of all offensive snaps. He actually performed decently in most of those contests, until the season finale where he really struggled, allowing three pressures and a sack. The 6’5”, 315-pound Bredeson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Ravens. He played in 10 games with no starts as a rookie.

The Giants placed Shane Lemieux on Injured Reserve in mid-September 2021 with a knee injury that he suffered early in training camp. The Giants drafted Lemieux in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He surprisingly ended up playing in 12 games with nine starts starts at left guard, stealing Will Hernandez’s position. He was only flagged once (false start) all year. The 6’4”, 310-pound Lemieux started an incredible 52 games in college, never missing a game. He is a tough, feisty, blue-collar lineman with some athletic limitations. Lemieux needs to get stronger, but he is a physical presence in the ground game with a feel for blocking angles. He struggled at times as a pass protector.

The Giants signed Wes Martin off of the Practice Squad of the Washington Football Team in late September 2021. He ended up playing in seven games, with one start at left guard in Week 17. He struggled in that contest, allowing two tackles for losses.  The 6’3”, 315-pound Martin was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by Washington. Martin played in 25 regular season games during his first two seasons, with 10 starts (five at right guard and five at left guard). Washington waived him in late August 2021 and signed him to the Practice Squad the following day. Martin appears to lack ideal size, power, and overall athleticism for the position.

The Giants placed Kyle Murphy on Injured Reserve in August 2021 with an ankle injury that he suffered in the first preseason game. The Giants signed Murphy as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. He was signed to the Practice Squad in early September and then signed to the 53-man roster in mid November. Murphy did not play in a regular-season game in 2020. Murphy was a 3-year starter in college with experience all along the offensive line.

Offensive Centers:

The Giants acquired Billy Price by trade in late August 2021 in exchange for defensive lineman B.J. Hill. He ended up playing in 16 games, with 15 starts at center and missed one game due to personal reasons. Overall, Price was a liability as a run and pass blocker. His lack of strength/power and athletic ability led to far too many negative plays and inability to generate movement. Price was exposed by both quick athletes and powerful tackles. He also was flagged four times. The 6’4”, 310-pound Price was originally drafted by the Bengals in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Price has played in 58 regular-season games, starting 34 at both center and guard.

The Giants placed Nick Gates on Injured Reserve with a serious fracture to his lower left leg that he suffered in Week 2 after being shifted to left guard. The severity of the injury has placed his career in jeopardy. The Giants signed Gates as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He missed all of 2018 with a foot injury that caused him to be placed on Injured Reserve before the season started. In 2019, Gates was active for all 16 games with three starts (two starts at right tackle and one start at right guard). In 2020, despite having no prior experience at playing the position, and after a rough start, Gates not only solidified the center position for the Giants but rapidly became the team’s best lineman. Gates started all 16 games at center. Gates is a versatile player, able to play tackle, guard, and center. He has good size and brings toughness and attitude to the offensive line. Gates is a solid pass and run blocker.

Defensive Ends:

Leonard Williams did not play as well as he did in 2020, but he still had a strong season in 2021, starting all 17 games (76 percent of defensive snaps) and finishing with 74 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. This was a step down from his career-season in 2020 where he finished with 11.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, and 14 tackles for a loss. The 6’5”, 302-pound Williams was the sixth player taken overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The Giants acquired Williams by trade from the in late October 2019. Williams is a stout, strong, physical run defender. While he lacks classic quick-twitch outside pass-rush skills, Williams can pressure the passer due to his combination of power and overall athleticism. He has the ability to line up inside or outside to create match-up problems. Very durable, Williams has only missed one NFL game in his career and he played through a very painful elbow injury for the final games of 2021.

The Giants drafted Dexter Lawrence in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team. However, through three seasons with New York, Lawrence has been inconsistent and has yet to develop into the stud presence expected of him. In 2021, he played in all 16 games with 10 starts at defensive end (69 percent of defensive snaps), finishing with 52 tackles, five tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Built like a prototypical run-stuffing nose tackle (6’4”, 242 pounds) with excellent size and strength, the Giants have surprisingly played him more at 3-4 defensive end. His size and power can force other teams to double-team him. While Lawrence can generate a power rush, he lacks dynamic pass rush moves to consistently reach the quarterback.

The Giants signed Raymond Johnson as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft. He surprisingly made the team, played in 15 games with no starts (16 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the season with three tackles, one tackle for a loss, and one sack. Johnson is a bit undersized for a 3-4 end (6’3”, 270) and he did not really stand out as a run defender or pass rusher in his limited playing time.

David Moa was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021. He was elevated to the 53-man roster for four games, starting one, and finished the season with three tackles. Moa did not stand out in these games. The 6’3”, 296-pound Moa was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Minnesota Vikings after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Vikings waived him in early September and he then spent a week on the Practice Squad on the Atlanta Falcons. The Giants signed Moa to the Practice Squad in early October 2020.

Nose Tackles:

With the departure of Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency, Austin Johnson became the team’s full-time nose tackle in 2021. Johnson started all 17 games (57 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished the season with 66 tackles, six tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. In his sixth NFL season, this was a career year for Johnson who started off very strong and faded a bit down the stretch. Johnson was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Giants signed him  as an unrestricted free agent from the Titans in March 2020. Johnson has good size (6’4′, 314 pounds) and is a decent run defender who flashes on occasional rushing the passer. He still needs to play with greater consistency.

The Giants signed Danny Shelton in March 2021 after he was cut by the Detroit Lions. Like many of his previous stops in the NFL, Shelton was a disappointment. Never much of a pass rusher, he was not a factor in defending the run despite his tremendous size (6’2”, 345 pounds). Shelton played in 13 games with no starts (29 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the season with 30 tackles, one tackle for a loss, 0.5 sacks, and one quarterback hit. Shelton was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2015-2017), New England Patriots (2018-2019), and Lions (2020). In all, Shelton has played in 100 regular-season games with 72 starts.

Outside Linebackers:

The Giants drafted Azeez Ojulari in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He played in all 17 games with 13 starts as a rookie (67 percent of defensive snaps), finishing with 48 tackles, eight tackles for losses, eight sacks, 13 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, and one forced fumble. While he regularly flashed play-making ability, Ojulari also disappeared for long stretches within games. The next step for him is to become a more consistent presence. Ojulari is an edge rusher who combines good size (6’3”, 240 pounds) with excellent overall athleticism. He flashes natural pass rush skills, but needs to disengage from blockers better. Ojulari is better moving forward than in reverse and needs to improve his pass coverage skills.

A year after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon in 2020, Lorenzo Carter surprisingly bounced back quickly in 2021 and played possibly the best football of his career down the stretch of the season. Carter started all 14 games that he played in (66 percent of defensive snaps), missing three mid-season games with an ankle injury. He finished with career-high stats in tackles (44) and sacks (5) while also being credited with six tackles for losses, eight quarterback hits, one interception, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The Giants drafted Carter in the 3rd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He played in 15 games with two starts as a rookie, and then started 12-of-15 games in 2019. Carter missed 11 games in 2020 due to the Achilles’ injury. Carter looks the part, combining good size (6’5”, 255 pounds) and overall athletic ability. He flashes the ability to disrupt as a forward mover, but must do so on a more consistent basis.

The Giants claimed Quincy Roche off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers in early September 2021. He ended up playing in 14 games with three starts (42 percent of defensive snaps), and finished the season with 30 tackles, five tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, five quarterback hits and one forced fumble. While Roche flashed as both a pass rusher and run defender, he lacked ideal game-to-game, play-to-play consistency. The 6’3”, 243-pound Roche was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Steelers.

The Giants placed Elerson Smith on Injured Reserve in early September 2021 with a hamstring injury that caused him to miss all of training camp and the preseason. He was activated from Injured Reserve to the 53-man roster in early November. The team placed him on Injured Reserve again in early January 2022 with a neck injury. As a rookie, Smith played in eight games with no starts, finishing with just eight tackles, two quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. The Giants drafted Smith in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Smith is tall and lanky (6’7”, 245 pounds) with good overall athleticism. He flashes as a forward-moving disruptor but needs a lot of development.

The Giants drafted Oshane Ximines in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He has not developed as hoped. After playing in 16 games with two starts as a rookie, Ximines missed the last 12 games of the 2020 season with a rotator cuff injury that required surgery. It was anticipated he would compete for a starting job in 2021, but his playing time marked declined as the season progressed. Worse, he was made inactive for most games in the second half of the season. Ximines finished 2021 playing in 10 games with no starts (27 percent of defensive snaps in those games). He was credited with just 12 tackles, three pass defenses, and two quarterback hits. Ximines has a nice combination of size (6’4”, 254 pounds) and overall athletic-ability. Despite his size, he is not a good run defender and he does not make enough of an impact when rushing the passer.

Trent Harris was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021 and the 53-man roster in November. The Giants then placed him on Injured Reserve in early December with an ankle injury and waived him at the end of the month. He played in four games with no starts (15 percent of defensive snaps in those games), finishing with seven tackles. The 6’2”, 255-pound Harris was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins claimed Harris off of waivers in September 2019. He played in 11 games with three starts with the Dolphins, accruing 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Dolphins cut him in early September 2020. The Giants signed Harris to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2020; he was re-signed to the Practice Squad in December after playing in four games with two starts (26 percent of all defensive snaps in those games). He finished they year with five tackles and 0.5 sacks.

Omari Cobb was signed to the Practice Squad in late September 2021. He was cut and re-signed to the Practice Squad in December. The 6’4”, 223-pound Cobb was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2020 NFL Draft. He spent most of his rookie season on the Practice Squad of the Chiefs, but did play in one regular-season game in December. The Chiefs cut Cobb in late August 2021, signed him to the Practice Squad the next day, and then cut him from the Practice Squad in mid-September.

Niko Lalos was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021. The Giants signed Lalos as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. Lalos spent most of the season on the Practice Squad but was elevated to the 53-man roster in December. He played in six games with no starts as a rookie (17 percent of all defensive snaps in those games). Lalos finished the season with six tackles, one interception, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery. The 6’5”, 270-pound Lalos played defensive end in college but was moved to the outside linebacker position by the Giants. He has good size for the position, but is not a dynamic athlete. Over-achiever who plays hard.

Inside Linebackers:

The Giants placed Blake Martinez on Injured Reserve in late September 2021 with a torn ACL in his left knee. He only played in three games and finished the year with 23 tackles. The Giants signed Martinez as an unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers in March 2020. He had a major impact on the defense in 2020, starting all 16 games and playing in 97 percent of all defensive snaps. Martinez finished the season with a team-high 151 tackles and also accrued nine tackles for losses, three sacks, six quarterback hits, five pass defenses, one interception, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The 6’2”, 237-pound Martinez was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Packers. Martinez lacks ideal size and range for the position, but he is a heady player who can make the defensive calls and gets in on lot of tackles. He is better against the run than the pass.

After the Giants lost Blake Martinez for the season, Tae Crowder shifted to his inside linebacker spot from the other starting inside spot. Crowder ended up starting all 17 games (94 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished the season with a team-high 119 tackles. He was also credited with six pass defenses, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. The Giants selected Crowder in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He surprisingly moved into the starting line-up in Week 5 and 6 before suffering a groin injury that landed him on Injured Reserve for five games. Crowder returned in late November, starting four of his final six games. In all, Crowder played in 11 games with six starts (53 percent of all defensive snaps), and was credited with 57 tackles, three tackles for losses, one sack, three quarterback hits, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery that he returned for a game-winning touchdown. Crowder was moved from running back to linebacker in college and thus is still learning the position. Crowder lacks size (6’3”, 235 pounds), but he is a good athlete who can run. He is physical and plays hard. However, Crowder has issues taking on and disengaging from blocks against the run. And despite his high tackles totals, Crowder is not instinctive, does not react quickly enough, and still misses too many tackles.

The Giants signed Reggie Ragland as an unrestricted free agent from the Detroit Lions in March 2021. He ended up playing in all 17 games with nine starts (41 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished the season with 60 tackles, two pass defenses, and one fumble recovery. Ragland was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He missed his rookie season after tearing the ACL in his left knee and was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs before the 2017 season. Ragland has spent time with the Bills (2016), Chiefs (2017-2019), and Detroit Lions (2020). He has played in 75 regular-season games with 47 starts. Ragland has good size (6’2”, 252 pounds), but he is a limited athlete. While he is better against the run than in coverage, he does not really stand out against the running game either where his inconsistent ability to disengage from blockers and lack of lateral range hurts.

Benardrick McKinney was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2021 and the 53-man roster in November. He played in 11 games with three starts (24 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished the season with 23 tackles. McKinney was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He missed most of 2020 with a shoulder injury. McKinney was traded to the Miami Dolphins in March 2021, but cut in late August. In seven seasons, McKinney has played in 91 regular-season games, with 80 starts. McKinney is a big, physical linebacker (6’4”, 257 pounds) who flashes some power, but he is a limited overall athlete who can be exposed in coverage.

The Giants signed Jaylon Smith to the Practice Squad and then 53-man roster in December 2021. He ended up playing in the last four games of the season with two starts (60 percent of the defensive snaps in those games), finishing with 18 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense. Smith was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who cut him during his fifth season in October 2021. He then spent a month with the Packers before they cut him in early November 2021. Smith has played in 74 regular-season games with 58 starts. He made the Pro Bowl in 2019. Smith suffered serious knee injuries in college and his rookie season in the NFL that have impacted his game. He has decent size (6’2”, 240 pounds) and still flashes as a play-maker, but he is not a disciplined player who maintains gap integrity on a consistent enough basis against the run. Smith hits with a pop, but he is too much of a freelancer.

The Giants placed Carter Coughlin on Injured Reserve in early November 2021 with an ankle injury. He only played in seven games with no starts (8 percent of defensive snaps) and finished with just six tackles. The Giants selected Coughlin in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 14 games as a rookie with two starts (20 percent of all defensive snaps). Coughlin finished the season with 17 tackles, two tackles for losses, one sack, and two quarterback hits. The 6’3”, 236-pound Coughlin is not a top athlete, but he is a tough, competitive, and reliable linebacker who plays hard.

Cam Brown was placed on Injured Reserve by the Giants in late September with a hamstring injury and activated from Injured Reserve in mid-October. Due to injuries, the teams shifted him to the inside on the depth chart. Brown played in 12 games with no starts, only seeing a handful of snaps on defense all season. Most of his action came on special teams (80 percent of all special teams snaps in the games he played), where he was credited with nine special teams tackles. The Giants selected Brown in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 15 games as a rookie with no starts (nine percent of all defensive snaps). Brown finished the year with 12 tackles, three quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. The 6’5”, 233-pound Brown is a tall and lanky linebacker with long arms and decent speed. His size and solid athletic ability assist him coverage but he needs to improve his run defense at the point-of-attack and overall tackling consistency. Versatile.

The Giants claimed Justin Hilliard off of waivers from the San Fransisco 49ers in early September 2021. The team placed him on Injured Reserve in mid October with an Achilles’ tendon injury after playing in two games exclusively on special teams.  The 6’1”, 231-pound Hilliard was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the 49ers after the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Giants placed T.J. Brunson on Injured Reserve in August 2021 with an ACL tear in his left knee that he suffered the first preseason game. The Giants selected Brunson in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Brunson spent most of the season on the inactive list, but he did play in five games, almost exclusively on special teams. He was credited with three tackles. The 6’1”, 230-pound Brunson is an undersized inside linebacker with decent but not ideal athleticism. He is very physical and aggressive.

Cornerbacks:

James Bradberry did not play as well in 2021 as he did in his first year with the Giants in 2020 when he made the Pro Bowl. Bradberry played in all 17 games with 16 starts (99 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the season with 46 tackles, 17 pass defenses, four interceptions, and one fumble recovery. Those stats were comparable to his 2020 season, but Bradberry was not as consistently strong in coverage in 2021. He was also flagged five times. Bradberry was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Panthers. Bradberry is a big corner (6’1”, 212 pounds) with good speed and agility. He plays a physical game both against the run and pressing opposing corners off of the line. When at the top of his game, Bradberry is outstanding in coverage and can erase even top wideouts. He can have issues with smaller, quicker receivers.

The Giants signed Adoree’ Jackson in March 2021 to a big contract after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. He did not have the year anticipated. An ankle injury slowed him early in the season. Then he missed four games late in the year with a quad injury and COVID. In the end, Jackson played in 13 games with 12 starts (91 percent of snaps in those games) and finished with 56 tackles, eight pass defenses, and one interception. Jackson was drafted by the Titans in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In his four seasons with the Titans, Jackson played in 46 regular-season games with 41 starts, accruing 189 tackles, 33 pass defenses, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. He missed most of the 2020 NFL season with a knee injury, playing in just the last three games. Jackson is an average-sized corner (5’11”, 185 pounds) and a good athlete. When healthy and focused, Jackson is a solid, physical cover corner who is capable of covering the League’s better receivers. But he needs to improve his overall consistency. Jackson made more plays on the football early in his career (27 of his 41 career pass defenses).

Slot corner Darnay Holmes was placed on Injured Reserve with a neck injury in late November 2021, missing the last six games of the season. Unfortunately for him, Holmes was playing his best football before he got hurt. He played in 11 contests with four starts (37 percent of all defensive snaps in those games) and finished the season with 26 tackles, two pass defenses, and one interception. The Giants drafted Holmes in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Serving as the team’s primary slot corner as a rookie, he played in 12 games, with five starts, missing four games due to injuries (neck and knee). Holmes lacks ideal height, but he is well-built with good speed and quickness. He plays fast, hard, physical, and aggressive. However, he needs to make more plays on the football and stop making costly mistakes (eight penalties in two seasons).

The Giants drafted Aaron Robinson in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He underwent offseason surgery on a core muscle and missed all of training camp, the preseason, and the first half of the regular season. Robinson ended up playing in nine games with two starts (43 percent of snap counts in those games), and finished the year with 24 tackles and three pass defenses. Despite missing all of that critical practice time, Robinson did flash as a player. He was a bit inconsistent at times, but demonstrated the ability to be sticky and aggressive in coverage with good reaction skills and mental toughness. Robinson can play the slot corner position.

The Giants placed Rodarius Williams on Injured Reserve in mid-October 2021 with a torn ACL. Before suffering the season-ending injury, Williams played in five games, including 15 percent of all defensive snaps. He was only credited with one tackle. The Giants drafted Williams in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Williams has good size for a corner (6’0”, 193 pounds) and has experience in both press and off coverage. He is a instinctive, competitor who plays a physical game and makes plays on the football. Williams lacks ideal speed and quickness and must now overcome the ACL injury. The coaching staff was high on him before he got hurt.

The Giants signed Jarren Williams to the Practice Squad in late September 2021 and the 53-man roster in December. He ended up playing in six games with two starts (49 percent of snaps in those games) and finished the season with 17 tackles and one pass defense. In the two games that he started, Williams impressed in one and struggled in the other. Williams was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants signed signed Williams in early August 2020 after he was waived by the Cardinals. He spent most of 2020 on the Giants’ Practice Squad, but did play in two games exclusively on special teams.

The Giants acquired Keion Crossen by trade from the Houston Texans in August 2021 in exchange for a 6th-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Crossen played only 23 snaps on defense, but was a standout on special teams, where he led the team with 11 special teams tackles. He played in 16 games, missing one game due to COVID. The 5’10”, 185-pound Crossen was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He was traded to the Texans in August 2019. In four NFL seasons, Crossen has played in 59 regular-season games with four starts in 2020 for the Texans.

Safeties:

After missing most of his rookie season in 2020 with a fractured left foot that required surgery, Xavier McKinney rapidly developed into one of the League’s better free safeties in 2021. McKinney played in all 17 games with 16 starts (97 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the season with 88 tackles (third on the team), 10 pass defenses, and a team-high five interceptions (one of which he returned for a touchdown). The Giants drafted McKinney in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He missed 10 games with the foot injury, played in six contests with four starts. The 6’0”, 201-pound McKinney is versatile performer, who is capable of playing multiple positions. He is a good athlete with fine range, anticipation, and instincts for the position, but he needs to become a more consistent tackler.

In his second season with the team, Logan Ryan remained an important presence in the secondary in 2021, especially after the loss of Jabrill Peppers early in the season. Ryan started 15 games at strong safety (98 percent of all defensive snaps in those games), missing two mid-season games with COVID. He finished the season with 105 tackles (second on the team), one sack, three quarterback hits, eight pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The Giants signed Ryan in late August 2020. He ended up being a very important, jack-of-all-trades defensive back who was used at both safety and corner. Ryan also quickly became a team leader and solid presence in the locker room. In all, Ryan played in all 16 games with 15 starts in 2020. The 5’11”, 195-pound Ryan was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has spent time with the Patriots (2013-2016) and Titans (2017-2019), playing 109 regular-season games with 85 starts. Ryan has spent most of his career at corner, but now prefers to play safety. While Ryan has history of being an instinctive, play-maker, he also still misses too many tackles and can be exposed in coverage at times.

Julian Love had his best season with the Giants in 2021. He played in all 17 games with five starts (52 percent of all defensive snaps) and finished the season with 63 tackles, 0.5 sacks, seven pass defenses, one interception, and one fumble recovery. A collegiate corner, the Giants drafted Love in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft and moved him to safety. He played in 15 games with five starts as a rookie and followed that up with 16 games and six starts in 2020. While the Giants continue to primarily use him at safety, they have shifted him to cornerback and even slot corner when needed. His versatility has become very important to the team, and while his snap count continues to fluctuate on a game-by-game basis, Love improved his reliability and consistency as a player in 2021. His tackling still needs improvement however. Love was also a factor on special teams (62 percent of special teams snaps) with 10 special teams tackles.

The Giants placed Jabrill Peppers on Injured Reserve in late October 2021 after he suffered a ruptured ACL and high ankle sprain on his right leg in Week 7. In 2021, Peppers played in six games with five starts (58 percent of all defensive snaps in those games), missing another game with a hamstring injury. He finished with 30 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense. Overall, Peppers’ play declined in 2021 and he saw his playing time decrease as a result. In 2020, Peppers played in 15 games with 14 starts (88 percent of all defensive snaps), missing one game with an ankle injury. He finished the season with 91 tackles, 19 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, nine quarterback hits, 11 pass defenses, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Peppers was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He was traded to the Giants as part of the Odell Beckham deal in March 2019. He started 11 games for the Giants in 2019 before being placed on Injured Reserve with a transverse process fracture in his back. Peppers combines good size (5’11”, 215 pounds) and overall athleticism. Still a better athlete than football player, Peppers flashes signs of being an impact safety, but he simply gets exposed too often in coverage. He does his best work when moving forward and attacking the line of scrimmage. Peppers can also return punts.

The Giants signed J.R. Reed off of the Practice Squad of the Los Angeles Rams in late October 2021. He played in eight games with New York with no starts (10 percent of defensive snaps in those games) and was credited with 13 tackles. He saw extensive time in two mid-season games, playing poorly in one and better in the next. The 6’1”, 194-pound Reed was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2020 NFL Draft. The Jaguars waived him in September 2020. Reed was then signed by the Rams, where he spent time on both their Practice Squad and 53-man roster. He has played in a total of 16 games, with no starts. Reed needs to become a more physical, reliable player, especially when taking on the run and making tackles.

Steven Parker was signed to the Practice Squad in mid-September 2021. He was then signed to the 53-man roster in both November and December. He ended up playing in nine games, seeing only 24 snaps on defense. Parker was credited with five tackles and two pass defenses. The 6’1”, 210-pound Parker was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Rams (2018-2019), Miami Dolphins (2019-2020), Minnesota Vikings (2020), and Dallas Cowboys (2020). Parker has played in 31 regular-season games, with four starts with Miami in 2019.

The Giants placed Joshua Kalu on Injured Reserve in August 2021 with a torn pectoral muscle that he suffered in the first preseason game. The 6’0”, 203-pound Kalu was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2018 NFL Draft. In his three seasons with Tennessee, Kalu played in 28 regular-season games with no starts, accruing 24 tackles, one pass defense, and one forced fumble. He also blocked a field goal. The Giants signed Kalu as an unrestricted free agent from the Titans in March 2021 after the Titans chose not to tender him as a restricted free agent. 

The Giants re-signed Nate Ebner in early September 2021 and placed him on Injured Reserve with a knee injury in November. He only ended up playing in six games, did not see a snap on defense, and was credited with only one tackle despite playing 82 percent of all special teams snaps in the games he played. The 6’0”, 215-pound Ebner was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. In eight seasons in New England, Ebner played in 111 regular-season games with no starts. The Giants signed Ebner as an unrestricted free agent from the Patriots in March 2020. Ebner is almost exclusively a special teams player who is nearing the end of a 10-year career.

Punters, Kickers, and Snappers:

Punter Riley Dixon averaged 44.4 yards per punt with a net of 39.5 yards per punt in 2021. Both averages were in the bottom tier of the league. He was better with punts downed inside the 20-yard line with 24. The 6’5”, 226-pound Dixon was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He was named to the All-Rookie team. The Giants traded with the Broncos for Dixon in April 2018, giving the Broncos a conditional 7th-round draft pick.

Place kicker Graham Gano has arguably been the team’s best player since being signed in August 2020. In his initial season with New York in 2020, Gano converted on 31-of-32 field goal attempts (96.9 percent – second highest in team history) and 21-of-23 extra point attempts (91.3 percent). He followed that up in 2021 by making 29-of-33 field goal attempts (87.9 percent) and all 17 of his extra point attempts (100 percent). He was 7-of-10 from 50+ yards out, with a long of 55 yards for the second year in a row. Forty-two percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). However, he missed the last four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season with a knee injury. The Panthers released him in late July 2020. Gano made the Pro Bowl in 2017.

The Giants signed long snapper Casey Kreiter as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos in April 2020. The 6’1”, 250-pound Kreiter was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2014 NFL Draft. After spending two camps with the Cowboys, Kreiter made the Denver Broncos in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl for his performance in 2018.