New York Giants Scouting Reports

 

Scouting Reports Last Updated: February 1, 2023

Quarterbacks:

After two disappointing seasons in 2020 and 2021, Daniel Jones rebounded in 2022 under the tutelage of new Head Coach Brian Daboll and Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka, helping to lead the Giants to a surprising 9-7-1 regular-season record and a playoff victory. Daboll was the third head coach and Kafka the fourth offensive coordinator in Jones’ first four years with the team. For the first time as a pro, Jones did not miss a game due to injury. He started 16 regular-season games, being held out of the season finale as a healthy scratch, and finished the season completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,205 yards, 15 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He also set a franchise single-season record for quarterback rushing yards with 120 carries for 708 yards and seven touchdowns. Not only were the five interceptions a career-low, but so were his fumbles (six). The highlight of season was his 2-touchdown, 301-passing yard, and 78-rushing yard performance against the Vikings in a 31-24 playoff win. His improved play occurred despite a revolving door of subpar receivers to throw to and shaky pass protection. Nevertheless, questions remain about Jones’ upside and ability to elevate the team around him. He needs to throw for more touchdown passes, never coming close to the 24 he threw his rookie season. The Giants drafted Jones in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft. After a promising rookie season, Jones struggled during the 2-year Joe Judge era, throwing just 21 touchdowns to 17 interceptions with a 9-16 record as a starter. He also missed two games due to hamstring and ankle injuries in 2020 and six games due to a neck injury in 2021. 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.

The Giants signed Tyrod Taylor as an unrestricted free agent from the Houston Texans in March 2022. He ended up playing at the end of three games, completing 6-of-8 passes for 58 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also fumbled twice in those limited snaps. The 6’1”, 217-pound Taylor was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He has spent time with the Ravens (2011-2014), Buffalo Bills (2015-2017), Cleveland Browns (2018), Los Angeles Chargers (2019-2020), and Texans (2021). Taylor has played in 81 regular-season games with 53 starts, completing 61 percent of his passes for 10,794 yards, 60 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. He has also rushed the ball 366 times for 2,071 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and 19 touchdowns. Most of his starting experience came during a 3-year stretch with Bills where he started 43 games. Taylor started six games for the Texans in 2021, completing 61 percent of his passes for 966 yards, five touchdowns, and five interceptions. He also rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor made the Pro Bowl in 2015. He is 26-25-1 in games started.

Running Backs/Fullbacks:

After missing most of the 2020 season with a serious knee injury and a disappointing season in 2021, Saquon Barkley had a career revival in 2022 under the new coaching regime. Barkley played a tougher, more physical style and finished the season with a career-high 295 rushing attempts for 1,312 yards (4.4 yards per carry), and 10 touchdowns. He also caught a team-leading 57 passes for 338 yards. Barkley only fumbled the ball once, out of bounds. He also played in every game, except for being a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. Post-injury, what was missing from his game was the big, explosive plays that were his signature during his rookie season. Nevertheless, Barkley was voted to his second Pro Bowl for his productive performance. 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.” As a rookie, 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. Barkley also led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. Barkley endured a forgettable sophomore season as a pro in 2019. 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 just 19 carries for 34 yards (1.8 yards per carry) and six catches for 60 yards. In 2021, a softer, more tentative 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 signed Matt Breida as an unrestricted free agent from the Buffalo Bills in March 2022. He played in every game, with one start, and finished the season with 54 carries for 220 yards (4.1 yards per carry), and one touchdown. He also caught 20 passes for 118 yards. Breida was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the San Francisco 49ers after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the 49ers (2017-2020), Miami Dolphins (2020), and Bills (2021). Breida has played in 81 regular-season games with 20 starts, rushing the ball 520 times for 2,501 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. He also has caught 103 passes for 847 yards and six touchdowns. Breida lacks size (5’10”, 195lbs), but he is a quick, elusive back with good speed. He can also catch the football.

Gary Brightwell served as the team’s third running back in 2022, and somewhat surprisingly carried the ball 31 times for 141 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He also caught five passes for 39 yards. The Giants drafted Brightwell in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft, primarily for special teams purposes. He played in 13 games as a rookie and had just one carry. 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 (6’1”, 218lbs).

The Giants signed Jashaun Corbin as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. Corbin is is a north/south runner who does his best work between the tackles. He is a patient runner with good vision. He has some shiftiness to his game and can run through tackles. Corbin also can catch the ball out of the backfield, but he needs work in pass protection.

Wide Receivers:

The Giants claimed Isaiah Hodgins off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in early November 2022. Due to the dearth of talent at the position, Hodgins quickly received playing time, playing in eight regular-season games with five starts. He finished with 33 catches for 351 yards (10.6 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. In the playoff game against the Vikings, Hodgins caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. However, he was limited to one catch against the playoff loss to the Eagles.  Hodgins was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Bills. He spent most of his rookie season on Injured Reserve and most of 2021 on the Practice Squad. Before coming to the Giants, Hodgins only played in two regular-season games, catching four passes for 41 yards. Hodgins lacks ideal speed, but he has good size (6’3”, 201lbs), runs good routes, and became the steadiest, most-reliable receiver on the roster. The question moving forward is his upside.

The Giants placed Wan’Dale Robinson on Injured Reserve in November 2022 with a torn ACL that he suffered in Week 11. Robinson played in six games, with three starts, finishing the year with 23 catches for 227 yards (9.9 yards per catch) and one touchdown. He also missed four games in September and October with a knee sprain. The Giants selected Robinson in the 2nd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The 5’8”, 178-pound Robinson is an explosive, diminutive receiver/running back hybrid who plays bigger than his size with good strength and leaping ability. He is a threat to score every time he touches the football. Robinson is a tough, super-competitive, and makes big plays in the clutch. He has experience returning both punts and kickoffs.

The Giants signed Richie James as an unrestricted free agent from the San Francisco 49ers in March 2022. He became a bigger factor in the passing game than anticipated, replacing the injured Wan’Dale Robinson as the team’s slot receiver. James played in all 17 regular-season games with four starts, finishing with team-leading 57 catches for 569 yards (10 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. He also served as the team’s primary punt returner, averaging 7.2 yards per return, but also fumbling three times. James was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the 49ers. In his first three years in San Francisco, James played in 40 regular-season games with 10 starts, catching 38 passes for 689 yards and three touchdowns. James missed all of the 2021 season with a knee injury. James lacks size (5’9”, 185lbs), but he has good quickness and hands. He has eight career fumbles however.

Darius Slayton began the 2022 season as the team’s 7th wideout, barely making the 53-man roster. Due to the revolving door at the position, by the end of the season, he was entrenched as a starter. Slayton played in 16 regular-season games with 11 starts, catching 46 passes for a team-leading 724 yards (15.7 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. However, he also dropped seven passes, or nearly 10 percent of his opportunities. 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. But Slayton has not really progressed since that impressive debut season, only catching seven total touchdown passes from 2020-2022, while also dropping 19 passes during that same timespan. Slayton combines decent size (6’1”, 194lbs) with very good overall athleticism and speed. Slayton can stretch the field and get deep. He can adjust well to the football, but his hands are very suspect, even being prone to double-clutching passes he does catch. Slayton is also not a very physical receiver and can have issues beating press coverage.

The Giants placed Sterling Shepard on Injured Reserve in late September 2022 after he tore the ACL in his left knee in Week 3. He finished the season with 13 catches for 154 yards and one touchdown. 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 five 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 22 career touchdowns). Shepard had a horrible season in 2021, culminating with a torn left Achilles’ tendon injury in mid-December. 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. 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. Good blocker.

The Giants placed Collin Johnson on Injured Reserve in late August 2022 with a torn Achilles’ tendon. He had been impressing in the summer and was receiving snaps with the starting offense.  The Giants claimed 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 for Jacksonville, he played in 14 NFL games with no starts, catching 18 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants signed Marcus Johnson to the Practice Squad in September 2022 and the 53-man roster in October 2022. He surprisingly ended up playing in 14 regular-season games with seven starts. However, he only caught nine passes for 99 yards. The 6’1”, 207-pound Johnson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Eagles (2016-2017), Seattle Seahawks (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2018–2020), Tennessee Titans (2021), and San Francisco 49ers (2022). The 49ers cut him in late August 2022. Johnson has played in 55 regular-season games with 19 starts, accruing 60 catches for 938 yards and three touchdowns.

Kenny Golladay will go down as one of the worst free agent signings in NFL history. The Giants signed Golladay as an unrestricted free agent from the Detroit Lions in March 2021 to a 4-year, $72 million contract. In his two seasons with New York, Golladay has played in 26 regular-season games with 18 starts, catching just 43 passes for 602 yards and one touchdown. He had only six catches for 81 yards in 2022, as mediocre receivers easily passed him on the depth chart. He also dropped four targets on the limited chances he did get. The 6’4”, 214-pound Golladay was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Lions. Golladay broke out in 2018 and 2019, catching 135 passes for 2,253 yards and 16 touchdowns. 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 used to have a knack for beating defensive backs for contested 50/50 balls. However, he clearly lacks dynamic speed and quickness to separate from corners. He will likely soon be a salary-cap casualty.

The Giants claimed signed Kalil Pimpleton to the Practice Squad in September 2022. He did not play for the team in 2022. The 5’9”, 172-pound Pimpleton was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. The Lions cut him in late August 2022. Pimpleton has experience returning punts.

The Giants signed Makai Polk to the Practice Squad in late September 2022. He did not play for the team in 2022. The 6’3”, 197-pound Polk was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2022 NFL Draft. The Ravens waived him in late August and he spent a brief amount of time on their Practice Squad before being cut in late September.

The Giants signed Jaydon Mickens to the Practice Squad in mid-December 2022. The 5’11”, 170-pound Mickens was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders after the 2016 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Raiders (2016-2017), Jacksonville Jaguars (2017-2018, 2021), Carolina Panthers (2019), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019-2021). Mickens has played in 38 regular-season games with no starts, catching 15 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He has experience returning both kickoffs and punts. Mickens has ball security issues as a returner with six career fumbles.

David Sills was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in September 2019 after he was cut by the Bills. He did not play in a game for the Giants that year. He also missed all of 2020 with broken right foot. In 2021, Sills played in four games with one start, finishing with just two catches for 17 yards. In 2022, Sills was pressed into extended playing time due to issues at the position. He played in nine games with five starts, mostly before the bye week, and finished the year with just 11 catches for 106 yards. Sills has good size (6’3”, 211lbs) and hands, but he lacks ideal speed and quickness.

Tight Ends/H-Backs/Fullbacks:

The Giants selected Daniel Bellinger in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Despite suffering a serious eye injury that included a fractured orbital bone in Week 7, missing four games in the process, Bellinger ended up starting 11 games as a rookie. He finished the regular season with 30 catches for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Bellinger also scored a touchdown on his only rushing attempt. The 6’5, 253-pound Bellinger combines good size and athletic ability. He was used more of an in-line blocker than receiver in college, but has flashed catching the ball when given an opportunity. He has good hands.

The Giants signed Nick Vannett to the Practice Squad in November 2022 after he was cut by the New Orleans Saints. He was then signed to the 53-man roster in December 2022. Vannett ended up playing in six regular-season games with three starts for the Giants, catching four passes for 42 yards. The  6’6”, 261-pound Vannett was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He has spent time with the Seahawks (2016-2019), Pittsburgh Steelers (2019), Denver Broncos (2020), and Saints (2021-2022). Vannett has played in 86 regular-season games with 38 starts, accruing 90 catches for 874 yards and six touchdowns. He is known more for his blocking than pass receiving.

The Giants signed Lawrence Cager to the Practice Squad in October 2022 and the 53-man roster in November 2022. He ended up playing in six regular-season games with three starts, catching 13 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. The 6’5”, 220-pound Cager was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2020 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jets (2020-2021, 2022) and Cleveland Browns (2021). The Jets cut him in mid-October 2022. Cager has played in 10 regular-season games with five starts. A former collegiate wideout, Cager is a much better pass receiver than blocker. He has good overall athleticism and hands for the position.

The Giants signed Chris Myarick to the Practice Squad in early September 2021 and the 53-man roster in November 2021. In 2022, Myarick played in 16 games with eight starts, catching just seven passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. The 6’5”, 261-pound Myarick was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He spent all of 2019 and most of 2020 on the Practice Squad of the Dolphins, though he did play in three games in 2020.

The Giants signed Dre Miller to the Practice Squad in late October 2022. The Giants originally signed Miller as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. He was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2022 with a broken forearm that he suffered in training camp and later waived with an injury settlement. Miller was a big receiver in college with good overall athletic ability. The Giants converted him to tight end, where he was impressing and receiving first-team snaps before he was injured.

Offensive Tackles:

In his third season with the Giants, Andrew Thomas developed into one of the best left tackles in football, earning second-team All-Pro honors. A healthy scratch from the regular-season finale,  Thomas started all 16 regular-season games and the two playoff games. He was only flagged once (illegal formation). The Giants drafted Thomas in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft. An inconsistent rookie, especially in pass protection, Thomas started 15 games at left tackle despite playing on a left ankle injury that required offseason surgery. In 2021, despite nagging foot and ankle injuries that caused him to miss four games and affected his play all year, Thomas rapidly improved. 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 has rapidly evolved into one of the game’s best pass protectors with superb get-off quickness, footwork, and arm/hand technique.

The Giants selected Evan Neal in the 1st round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Neal started 13 regular- and two post-season games at right tackle, missing a month with a knee injury. As a rookie, Neal struggled in pass protection, often not keeping his feet moving upon contact with quick defenders. He did not seem to improve as the year progressed and was also flagged six false starts. The 6’7”, 350-pound Neal is mammoth man who was a 3-year starter at left guard, right tackle, and left tackle in college. Smart, hard working, and dependable. Neal is a good athlete for his size. He can muscle and maul his opponent in the running game, but must develop better technique and consistency in pass protection.

The Giants claimed Tyre Phillips off of waivers from the Baltimore Ravens in early September 2022. He played in 12 games with five starts, including four games at right tackle when Evan Neal was out and the regular-season finale at left tackle. Phillips performed much better as a run blocker than pass blocker, where he struggled at times. He was also flagged with four penalties in his limited playing time (three false starts and one illegible down field). The 6’5”, 330-pound Phillips was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Ravens. In his first two years in the NFL, has played in 22 regular-season games with 13 starts, despite suffering an ankle injury in 2020 and a torn ACL in 2021. He has experience playing both guard and tackle. A big, powerful player with some pop to his run blocks, Phillips has to become a more consistent pass protector to push for playing time.

The Giants selected Matt Peart in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It was anticipated that Peart would push for a starting position at right tackle in 2021. However, he could not beat out the struggling 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 2021, not only ending his season but causing him to miss all of the 2022 offseason and preseason, and much of the regular season. He was activated from the PUP in mid-November 2022 and ended up playing in nine games with no starts. Most of his playing time came on special teams though he did see significant snaps at right tackle in Weeks 11 and 18, when he struggled. He was also flagged with false starts in both games. 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.

Devery Hamilton was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2021 where he spent the remainder of the season. In 2022, Hamilton played in nine regular-season games with no starts. Most of his playing time came on special teams. 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.

The Giants signed Korey Cunningham to the Practice Squad in October 2022. He played in one game in Week 12, receiving eight snaps on offense. 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. The Giants signed Cunningham was signed to the Practice Squad in early September 2021 and the 53-man roster in October 2021. 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. The Giants terminated the contract of Cunningham in July 2022 with a non-football injury. In four NFL seasons, Cunningham has played in 31 regular-season games, with six starts, all with the Cardinals in 2018. He has experience at both tackle positions.

Offensive Guards:

The Giants signed Mark Glowinski as an unrestricted free agent from the Indianapolis Colts in March 2022. Glowinski started 16 regular-season games and two post-season games at right guard, only being a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. He was flagged three times (one holding and two ineligible downfield). The 6’4”, 310-pound Glowinski was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. The Colts claimed him off of waivers in December 2017. Glowinski has played in 111 regular-season games with 90 starts. Glowinski lacks ideal power and athleticism, but he is a tough, dependable blue-collar lineman who gets the most out of his ability. He can have issues with powerful or more athletic defensive tackles.

Nick Gates made a stunning comeback in 2022 from a very serious injury he suffered in 2021. Despite missing all of the spring and summer, plus much of the first half of the season, on the PUP List, Gates returned to the active roster in late October 2022. Incredibly, he ended up playing in 10 regular-season with eight starts, mostly at left guard. He also started both playoff games. Gates was flagged with five penalties (two holding, one false start, one tripping, and one ineligible downfield). The Giants signed Gates as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He missed all of his rookie season with a foot injury. In 2019, Gates was active for all 16 games with three starts (two starts at right tackle and one start at right guard). The Giants moved Gates to center in 2020, when he started all 16 games and played well at his new position. In Week 2 of the 2021 season, Gates suffered a career-threatening fracture to his lower left leg. The severity of the injury required seven surgeries. 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. While Gates lacks ideal power and athleticism, he is a feisty, blue-collar lineman who plays to the whistle.

After a disappointing debut season with the Giants in 2021, Ben Bredeson played better in 2022. He ended up playing in 11 regular-season games with eight starts, primarily at left guard early in the season. Bredeson split snaps with Gates at left guard in the second half of the season after missing six games with a knee injury. He was flagged three times (two false start and one holding penalty). Bredeson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He played in 10 games with no starts as a rookie. The Giants acquired Bredeson by trade from the 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. Bredeson has good size (6’5”, 315lbs). While he lacks ideal power and athleticism, he proved to be a tough, steady blue-collar lineman in 2022 who could also play center. Bredeson can have issues with the bigger or more athletic defensive tackles in the NFL.

After a promising rookie season in 2020, Shane Lemieux has had two disastrous, injury-plagued seasons in a row in 2021 and 2022. 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, eventually beating out Will Hernandez. He was only flagged once (false start) all year. In 2021, Lemieux injured his knee in training camp. He tried to play with the injury in the opener, but could not finish the game and spent the rest of the year on Injured Reserve. In 2022, Lemieux injured his toe in training camp and was placed on Injured Reserve in late August. The Giants activated him off of Injured Reserve in mid-November. He started in Week 11 against the Lions but could not finish the game and was placed on Injured Reserve again in late December. In all, Lemieux has only played in two games the past two years, not being able to finish either contest. Ironically, 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. To date, Lemieux has proven to be a good run blocker who struggles at times in pass protection.

The Giants placed Joshua Ezeudu on Injured Reserve in mid-December with a neck injury. The Giants drafted Ezeudu in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He played in 10 games, with two starts at left guard. He injured his neck in practice in mid-November. He played in the ensuing game against the Lions in Week 11 but must have aggravated the neck injury and did not practice or play again. The 6’4”, 308-pound Ezeudu was a 3-year starter in college who played primarily at guard, but saw some action at tackle. He lacks ideal athleticism, but he has quick feet, a powerful frame, and plays with very strong hand usage. As a rookie, he was better as a run than pass blocker. He was flagged three times (one false start and two ineligible downfield).

The Giants placed Marcus McKethan on Injured Reserve in early August 2022 after he tore the ACL in his right knee during a training camp scrimmage. The Giants selected McKethan in the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6’6”, 340-pound McKethan is massive, powerful lineman with strong hands. He can muscle and maul defenders, but he needs development. McKethan has some balance issues and needs to keep his feet active on contact. Before he got hurt, he was receiving second-team snaps at both right guard and right tackle.

The Giants claimed Jack Anderson off of waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles in late August 2022. He played in 12 regular-season games with two starts, one at left guard against the Cowboys and one at right guard against the Eagles. He was a bit shaky against these top two defensive lines. The 6’4”, 314-pound Anderson was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Bills. The Eagles signed Anderson off of Buffalo’s Practice Squad in September 2021. He played in two games with one start for Philadelphia. Anderson spent part of the 2021 season on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury.

The Giants claimed Wyatt Davis off of waivers from the Arizona Cardinals in late December 2022. The 6’4”, 315-pound Davis was originally selected in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Davis spent time on both the 53-man roster (6 games with no starts) and Practice Squad as a rookie. The Vikings waived him in late August 2022 and the Giants immediately signed him to their Practice Squad. However, a week later the New Orleans Saints signed Davis to their 53-man roster. The Saints waived him in November and he was claimed off of waivers by the Cardinals, who cut him in late December. In all, Davis has played in nine NFL games with no starts. His first real NFL action came in the Giants’ regular-season finale against the Eagles. He flashed with power in the running game.

The Giants signed Solomon Kindley to the Practice Squad in early October 2022. He did not play for New York in 2022. The 6’4”, 339-pound Kindley was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins waived him in August 2022. Kindley has played in 29 regular-season games with 15 starts.

Offensive Centers:

The Giants signed Jon Feliciano in March 2022 after he was cut by the Buffalo Bills. The Giants converted him from guard to center, where he started 15 regular- and two post-season games, missing one game due to a neck injury and the other a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. Feliciano had an up-and-down year. His veteran presence and knowledge of Brian Daboll’s offense helped the offensive team. While he brought a toughness, feistiness, and grittiness to the line, his athletic limitations proved to be an issue against better opponents. Feliciano was also flagged six times (four holding, one ineligible downfield, and one taunting penalty). The 6’4”, 325-pound Feliciano was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He signed as a free agent with the Bills in March 2019. Feliciano has now played in 97 regular-season games with 54 starts. He is a versatile player who can play both guard positions and center.

Defensive Ends:

Until 2022, Leonard Williams had only missed one game due to injury in seven seasons. However, Williams missed four regular-season games in 2022 due to knee (3 games) and neck/stinger (1 game) injuries. He was also a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. The neck issue nagged him for most of the second half of the season and also caused him to exit a few games early. Williams finished with his least productive season since joining the Giants in 2019, being credited with 45 tackles, five tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. He played 75 percent of the snaps in the 12 regular-season games that he appeared. 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. His best NFL season was with the Giants in 2020 when he finished with 57 tackles, 14 tackles for losses, 11.5 sacks, and 30 quarterback hits. Williams is one of the NFL’s more talented and versatile defensive linemen. He is a strong, physical run defender. While he lacks classic outside edge pass-rushing 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. Williams has proven to be a very durable player who is tough enough to play through painful injuries.

The Giants signed Nick Williams as an unrestricted free agent from the Detroit Lions in late July 2022. Williams was placed on Injured Reserve in early November with a biceps injury. In 2002, he played in eight games with seven starts, accruing 15 tackles, two quarterback hits, and two pass defenses. Williams played 45 percent of defensive snaps in games that he appeared. The 6’4”, 310-pound Williams was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has spent time with the Steelers Steelers (2013-2014), Kansas City Chiefs (2014-2016), Miami Dolphins (2016-2017), Chicago Bears (2018-2019), and Detroit Lions (2020-2021). He has played in 83 regular-season games with 42 starts, being credited with 125 tackles, 14 tackles for losses, 7.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, and seven pass defenses. Williams is a better run defender than pass rusher and he does not make many plays behind the line of scrimmage.

The Giants signed Henry Mondeaux to the Practice Squad in September 2022 and the 53-man roster in November 2022. He ended up playing in 11 regular-season games with four starts, being credited with 16 tackles. Mondeaux played 33 percent of defensive snaps in games that he appeared. The 6’5”, 280-pound Mondeaux was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Saints (2018), Kansas City Chiefs (2019), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2019-2022). The Steelers waived him in late August 2022. Mondeaux has played in 37 NFL games with six starts, accruing just 37 tackles and two sacks. He is mainly a run defender who lacks the athletic ability to make flashy plays.

The Giants signed Ryder Anderson as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. He split time on both the Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2022, ending up playing in seven regular-season games with two starts. Anderson finished the season with eight tackles, two tackles for losses, and two sacks. He played 33 percent of defensive snaps in the seven games that he appeared. Anderson has good size (6’6”, 276lbs), strength, and length. He flashed at times as a rookie, but also had issues in run defense at times.

The Giants signed Vernon Butler to the Practice Squad in mid-November 2022. He played in one game in Week 13 and flashed with four tackles in just 12 snaps. The 6’4”, 330-pound Butler was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. He has spent time with the Panthers (2016-2019), Buffalo Bills (2020-2021), and Las Vegas Raiders (2022). The Raiders cut Butler in August 2022. Butler has played in 77 regular-season games with 19 starts, accruing 110 tackles, 15 tackles for losses, eight sacks, 21 quarterback hits, three pass defenses, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Nose Tackles:

Under the tutelage of new Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson, Dexter Lawrence had a breakout season in 2022, earning second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl recognition. Lawrence started 16 regular-season games, being a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. He played in an astounding 82 percent of defensive snaps. Lawrence was credited with 68 tackles, seven tackles for losses, 7.5 sacks, 28 quarterback hits, three pass defenses, and two forced fumbles. Despite being regularly double-teamed, Lawrence was a difference-maker in many contests as both a run defender and pass rusher. The Giants drafted 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, in his first three seasons with New York, Lawrence was inconsistent and had not developed into the stud presence expected of him. Built like a prototypical run-stuffing nose tackle (6’4”, 242 pounds) with excellent size and strength, previous coaching regimes surprisingly played him more at 3-4 defensive end. The current coaching staff moved him to his more natural nose tackle position and coached him up to a new level of play.

The Giants signed Justin Ellis as an unrestricted free agent from the Baltimore Ravens in March 2022. Ellis played in all 17 regular-season games with four starts, receiving 32 percent of defensive snaps. He finished with 22 tackles, two tackles for losses, and one sack. The 6’2”, 334-pound Ellis was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. From 2014 to 2018, Ellis played in 66 regular-season games with 42 starts for the Raiders. Oakland put him on season-ending Injured Reserve in August 2019 with a knee injury before waiving him later that year. The Ravens then signed him in November 2019. In Baltimore in 2019-2021, Ellis played in 34 regular-season games with eight starts. Ellis is strictly a run defender. He only has 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hits in his career. However, he did not really stand out in run defense either in 2022.

The Giants selected D.J. Davidson in the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Giants placed him on Injured Reserve in October 2022 with a torn ACL knee injury that he suffered in Week 5. Davidson finished the season playing in five games with no starts, accruing four tackles. He flashed at times despite playing only 43 defensive snaps. Davidson is strong and powerful with good size (6’3”, 327lbs). He was not much of a pass rusher in college.

Outside Linebackers:

The Giants selected Kayvon Thibodeaux in the 1st round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He suffered an MCL knee sprain in the second preseason game and missed the final pre- and first two regular-season games. Thibodeaux was also a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. In all, Thibodeaux started 14 regular-season games, being credited with 49 tackles, six tackles for losses, four sacks, 13 quarterback hits, five pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. The high-point of his season was his “Defensive Player of the Week” performance against the Washington Commanders in Week 15 when he caused a sack/forced fumble/recovery defensive score. He played in 79 percent of defensive snaps in the games he appeared. Thibodeaux combines excellent size (6’4”, 258lbs), athleticism, power, and strength. While he flashed as a rookie and was the victim of countless uncalled holding penalties, Thibodeaux needs to become a more consistently disruptive run defender and pass rusher to justify his lofty draft status. Contrary to pre-draft reports, he was a high-effort player who worked very hard at his craft as a rookie.

Azeez Ojulari had an injury-plagued season to forget in 2022. Ojulari missed the first three weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury. He then hurt his right calf in training camp and missed the first two regular-season games of the season. Then in Week 4, Ojulari injured his left calf. After waiting for three weeks for it to improve, the Giants finally put him on Injured Reserve. Ojulari did not return to the active roster until early December, missing two full months. He then left the Week 16 game early with an ankle injury and barely played the following week. He was held out of the regular-season finale and then came out of the playoff game against the Vikings with a quad contusion. In all, Ojulari played in seven regular-season games with five starts (49 percent of defensive snaps in those games). While he was only credited with 14 tackles, he also flashed in his limited playing time with 5.5 sacks, the second-most on the team in 2022. He also had three forced fumbles. The Giants drafted 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. Ojulari flashes natural pass rush skills, but needs to disengage from blockers and set the edge better against the run. He obviously also needs to stay on the field.

The Giants signed Jihad Ward as an unrestricted free agent from the Jacksonville Jaguars in March 2022. Ward surprisingly became an important on-field and locker-room veteran presence for the rebuilding ball club. He played in all 17 regular-season games with 11 starts (58 percent of defensive snaps), finishing the year with 43 tackles, seven tackles for losses, three sacks, 13 quarterback hits, four pass defenses, and two forced fumbles. It was the most-productive season in Ward’s seven-year NFL career. The 6’5”, 287-pound Ward was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He has spent time with the Raiders (2016-2017), Dallas Cowboys (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2018-2019), Baltimore Ravens (2019-2020), and Jaguars (2021). Ward has played in 85 regular-season games with 26 starts. While not flashy pass-rush presence, Ward is a tough, gritty edge-setter against the run. He also also shift inside when called upon.

Coming into 2022, many felt Oshane Ximines was on the bubble and would not make it out of training camp. He had a good summer, made the team, and contributed as a reserve and sometimes starter. In the end, Ximines played in 15 regular-season games with four starts (51 percent of defensive snaps in those 15 games). He was credited with 24 tackles, three tackles for losses, two sacks, eight quarterback hits, two pass defenses, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. The Giants drafted Ximines in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He played in 16 games with two starts as a rookie, but missed the last 12 games of 2020 with a rotator cuff injury that required surgery. 2021 was a very disappointing season as his playing time declined markedly as the season progressed, being inactive for much of the second half of the year. Ximines has a nice combination of size (6’4”, 254 pounds) and overall athletic-ability. Although somewhat improved in 2022, he still needs to improve his play in setting the edge as a run defender. Ximines flashes at times as a pass rusher, but is not consistent enough and will disappear for long stretches.

The Giants signed Tomon Fox as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. He made the team and played in 16 regular-season games, starting in the regular-season finale. He played in 30 percent of defensive snaps in those 16 games. Fox finished the year with 24 tackles, three tackles for losses, and one sack. Fox has good size (6’3”, 260lbs). The highlight of his season was his 8-tackle performance against the Seahawks in Week 8. Fox had a bit of an up-and-down season. While he flashed at times, the question remains as to his upside. Fox is a hard worker.

The Giants placed Elerson Smith on Injured Reserve in mid-December 2022 due to bone spurs near his Achilles’ that required surgery. This was the fourth time in his two seasons with the team that Smith landed on Injured Reserve. Smith was placed on Injured Reserve in late August 2022 with a foot injury and was activated off of IR in late October. He played in five games in 2022, accruing just three tackles. He also blocked a punt. The Giants drafted Smith in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants placed 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. Smith is tall and lanky (6’7”, 245 pounds) with good overall athleticism. He flashes as a forward-moving disruptor but needs to stay healthy.

Inside Linebackers:

For the second season in a row, the Giants added Jaylon Smith to the roster during the year. The Giants originally signed 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, finishing with 18 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense. The new regime chose not to re-sign him during the offseason, but oddly did so in September. Smith soon entrenched himself as a starter, playing in 13 regular-season games with 11 starts (72 percent of defensive snaps in those games). He finished the season with 87 tackles, three tackles for losses, one sack, two quarterback hits, and one fumble recovery. 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 Green Bay Packers before they cut him in early November 2021. Smith has played in 87 regular-season games with 69 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. Smith is big, fast, and physical. He flashes as a play-maker, but is not consistent enough. Smith lacks ideal lateral agility and the ability to diagnose, which can get him into trouble when defending the run and pass.

The Giants signed Jarrad Davis to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Detroit Lions in late December 2022. He was pressed into service immediately, starting the regular-season finale and the two playoff games at inside linebacker. In those three contests, he was credited with 18 tackles, one tackle for a loss, and two quarterback hits. Davis was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Lions. He has spent time with the Lions (2017-2020, 2022) and New York Jets (2021). Davis has played in 68 regular-season games with 51 starts. He’s big, strong, fast, and physical. However, he lacks ideal lateral agility and the ability to diagnose complex running schemes. Davis will flash, but he is not consistent enough.

The Giants selected Micah McFadden in the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. McFadden was surprisingly pressed into significant playing time as a rookie and had an up-and-down season in 2022. He played in all 17 regular-season games with seven starts (39 percent of defensive snaps). McFadden was credited with 59 tackles, six tackles for losses, two sacks, and one forced fumble. His best game came in the regular-season finale when he was credited with seven tackles and a sack. However, McFadden was a healthy scratch for both playoff games. McFadden is a well-built, 6’1”, 240-pound inside linebacker who lacks ideal athleticism. This impacts his lateral agility against the run and his ability to cover receivers down the field. But McFadden is tough, competitive, and plays hard.

The Giants signed Landon Collins to the Practice Squad in early October 2022 and the 53-man roster in late December. The new coaching staff converted him from safety to inside linebacker. Collins played in six regular-season games with one start (40 percent of defensive snaps in those six games). However, his heaviest use came in the final four regular-season games, as Collins was not used much in the playoffs (19 percent of snaps against the Vikings and no snaps against the Eagles). Collins finished the regular-season with 15 tackles, one sack, two pass defenses, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. Collins was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. He spent four years with the team, being named to the Pro Bowl three times from 2016-2018 and All-Pro in 2016. Collins signed a 6-year, $84 million contract with the Washington Redskins in 2019. Washington cut him in March 2022. The Commanders and Giants both came to the conclusion that Collins’ best position is no longer safety, but a linebacker/safety situational hybrid. Though undersized as a linebacker, he is a physical player who tackles well. And while his declining coverage skills are not ideal for safety, they are serviceable at the linebacker position.

The Giants placed Darrian Beavers on Injured Reserve in August 2022 after he tore the ACL in his left knee during the second preseason game. The Giants drafted Beavers in the 6th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6’4”, 237-pound Beavers was a Butkus Award Finalist in his senior season in college, where his coaches used him all over the defensive front. Beavers was impressing as an all-around defender and receiving first-team snaps in training camp before he was injured.

Carter Coughlin played almost exclusively on special teams in 2022. He played in all 17 regular-season games, playing 85 percent of special teams snaps and only six snaps on defense. Coughlin finished the season with nine tackles and one forced fumble. 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). He missed most of 2021 with an ankle injury that landed him on Injured Reserve. Coughlin has not been used much on defense since his rookie season. He’s an average athlete, but is tough and competitive.

Cam Brown played almost exclusively on special teams in 2022. He played in all 17-regular season games, playing in 85 percent of special teams snaps and only three snaps on defense. Brown was credited with six tackles. The Giants selected Brown in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. In three seasons, Brown has played in 44 regular-season games with no starts. He saw 93 defensive snaps as a rookie, but only 14 the next two seasons. Brown is a tall, lanky athlete who runs well.

Cornerbacks:

Adoree’ Jackson was clearly team’s best cornerback in 2022, being able to match-up against the League’s better wide receivers. However, for the fourth year in a row, and second year with the Giants, Jackson was not able to complete a full season due to injuries. Jackson missed seven regular-season games in 2022 with an MCL knee sprain that he suffered in Week 11. He did not return to the field until the first playoff game. In all, Jackson started 10 games, and finished the regular-season with 51 tackles, seven pass defenses, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. He played in 87 percent of defensive snaps in those 10 games and was flagged three times (pass interference, holding, and illegal hands). Jackson was drafted by the Tennessee 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. The Giants signed Jackson in March 2021 after he was cut by the Titans. Jackson missed five games in 2019 with a knee injury, 13 games in 2020 with another knee injury, and four games in 2021 with a quad injury and COVID. Jackson is an average-sized corner (5’11”, 185 pounds) and a good athlete. When healthy, Jackson is a fast, physical corner who can play press man coverage. He does not make a lot of plays on the football, however, with just three career interceptions and 15 pass breakups the past two seasons. Jackson needs to stay healthy.

The Giants signed Fabian Moreau to the Practice Squad in early September 2022 and signed to the 53-man roster in late September, proving to be an extremely valuable pick-up as he became a reliable, year-long starter at corner. Moreau played in 14 regular-season games with 11 starts, missing one game due to an oblique injury. He was also held out of the regular-season finale as a healthy scratch. He played in 82 percent of defensive snaps in games that he appeared. Moreau was credited with 66 tackles and 10 pass defenses. He was flagged five times (two defensive holding, two pass interference, and one illegal hands). Moreau was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with Washington (2017-2020), Atlanta Falcons (2021), and Houston Texans (2022). The Texans released him in August. Moreau has played in 90 regular-season games with 45 starts. Moreau has good size for the position and while he lacks ideal athletic cover skills and could be exposed by top wide receivers, he was steady and dependable in coverage. He has 22 pass breakouts in the past two seasons when he started 27 games, but no interceptions.

Darnay Holmes served as the team’s primary slot corner in 2022, playing in 15 regular-season games with two starts (59 percent of defensive snaps in those 15 games). He missed one game due to a shoulder injury and was a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. Holmes was credited with 38 tackles, eight pass defenses, and one forced fumble. The Giants drafted Holmes in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. In his first two seasons with the team in 2020 and 2021, Holmes played in 23 games with nine starts. He missed four games with neck and knee injuries in 2020 and six games with a neck injury in 2021. Holmes lacks ideal height, but he is well-built with good speed and quickness. He plays a physical, aggressive game, but has had issues in coverage at key moments of football games. Holmes has also been a penalty machine, being flagged 17 times in three seasons, including nine times in 2022 (six defensive holding, two pass interference, and one illegal contact). He also needs to make more plays on the football with only 15 pass breakups and two interceptions in three seasons.

The Giants claimed Nick McCloud off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in late August 2022. He ended up being a surprising contributor, being force fed into the starting line-up after Adoree’ Jackson was lost for most of the second half of the regular-season. McCloud played in 14 regular-season games with eight starts, accruing 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and seven pass defenses. He played in 57 percent of defensive snaps in those 14 games. He was flagged with two defensive penalties (illegal contact and roughing the passer). McCloud was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Bills after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals claimed him off of waivers in September 2021 and cut him in November. The Bills then re-signed McCloud to their Practice Squad. McCloud combines good size (6’0”, 193lbs) and overall athleticism. He plays a physical game with decent anticipation. McCloud had his ups and downs in coverage, particularly against upper echelon receivers, but played better than expected.

The Giants drafted Cor’Dale Flott in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Flott played in 11 games with six starts, missing six contests with a calf injury. He played 45 percent of the defensive snaps in the 11 games, and finished the regular-season with 26 tackles, two pass defenses, and one forced fumble. He was not flagged. Flott is a thinly-built (6’1”, 175lb), fluid coverman with experience both at nickel and outside corner. He flashed in coverage with good speed and agility, but his slight frame caused issues at times against physical receivers, tackling, and defending the run. Flott has an upside but needs to get bigger and stronger.

Beginning the season as a starting corner, the Giants placed Aaron Robinson on Injured Reserve in early October 2022 with a partially torn ACL and torn MCL that he suffered in Week 4. He underwent surgery in November and is expected to be out at least nine months. Robinson also missed Weeks 2 and 3 with with appendicitis. Robinson started the two games he played and finished with six tackles and one pass defense. The Giants drafted 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 in 2021. That 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. The current coaching staff converted him from slot to outside corner.

A torn ACL suffered in October 2021 has largely sabotaged the first two seasons in the NFL for Rodarius Williams, who was drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Giants. Despite playing in only five games with 50 defensive snaps as a rookie, Williams was well-regarded by the previous coaching staff before he got injured. Williams still had not fully recovered from the injury by the summer and was placed on Injured Reserve in late August 2022. The Giants activated him off of IR in mid-November. Williams played in three games, including starting in the regular-season finale. However, he did not score many points with the new coaching staff by publicly complaining about his lack of playing time. Williams finished with 15 tackles, two pass defenses, and one interception. He was flagged once for pass interference. Williams lacks ideal overall athleticism for the position, but he is instinctive and aggressive.

The Giants signed Zyon Gilbert as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. Gilbert spent the entire season on the Practice Squad but was a standard elevation three times, starting one of his three games. He was credited with 14 tackles and one sack. Gilbert played both safety and cornerback in college. He is a raw player who needs technique development. In his one start against Washington, Gilbert played aggressively and almost had an interception, but he was also targeted in coverage.

Safeties:

Xavier McKinney saw nearly half his 2022 season wiped out due to an off-the-field ATV accident during the bye week that caused multiple fractures in his left hand, requiring surgery. McKinney missed seven regular-season games. He also was a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. In all, McKinney started nine regular-season games, being credited with 45 tackles, one sack, five pass defenses, and one forced fumble. He played in 98 percent of the defensive snaps in those nine games. He was also flagged with one pass interference penalty. The Giants drafted McKinney in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He missed 10 games with a fractured left foot that required surgery, playing in six contests with four starts. In 2021, McKinney had a breakout season. He played in all 17 games with 16 starts (97 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished the season with 88 tackles, 10 pass defenses, and a team-high five interceptions (one of which he returned for a touchdown). 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.

Julian Love has gotten better every year since he was draft by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Due to Xavier McKinney missing much of the 2022 season, Love was forced to play in a variety of roles and performed well. A healthy scratch in the regular-season finale, Love started 16 regular-season games and finished the year with a team-high 124 tackles, six tackles for losses, one sack, five pass defenses, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He played in 95 percent of defensive snaps and was flagged once for unnecessary roughness. A collegiate corner, the Giants moved him to safety as a rookie, though he has played some corner and slot corner at the pro level. Love has played in 64 regular-season games with 32 starts. Lacking ideal size, speed, and quickness, Love’s instincts, intelligence, and versatility have become very important to the team. He has developed into a reliable, consistent player and team leader.

The Giants claimed Jason Pinnock off of waivers from the New York Jets in late August 2022. Pinnock became a valuable addition, playing in 14 games with 5 starts (49 percent of defensive snaps in those 14 games). He missed three games due to shoulder and ankle injuries. Pinnock finished the season with 41 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three pass defenses, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He was not flagged on defense. Pinnock was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Jets. He played in 12 games with two starts as a rookie, accruing 16 tackles, one pass defense, and two forced fumbles. Pinnock’s play with the Giants improved as the 2022 season progressed. An aggressive and physical player with good speed, he was an asset as a run defender and blitzer. Pinnock also flashed at times in pass coverage.

The Giants signed Tony Jefferson to the Practice Squad in September 2022 and the 53-man roster in early October 2022. However, one week later he was placed on Injured Reserve with a foot injury. He was activated off of IR in early December. In all, Jefferson played in nine regular-season games with one start (27 percent of defensive snaps in those nine games). He was credited with 23 tackles and one pass defense. Jefferson was originally signed as undrafted rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2013-2016), Ravens (2017-2019, 2021-2022), and San Francisco 49ers (2021). The Ravens cut Jefferson in late August 2022. Robinson has played in 113 regular-season games with 67 starts. Jefferson was added to the roster due to his familiarity with the defensive scheme and his veteran presence as in-the-box safety.

The Giants selected Dane Belton in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Belton broke his clavicle in early August in training camp. He missed the entire preseason and first regular-season game. He also appeared on the injury report a few times in November and December with a clavicle injury. Belton ended up playing in 15 regular-season games with five starts (39 percent of defensive snaps in those 15 games). He was credited with 31 tackles, three pass defenses, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. Belton was flagged twice (illegal contact and illegal use of hands). Belton was a better athlete than his pre-draft scouting reports indicated, demonstrating fine agility and range for the position. While he had an up-and-down season, he flashed with a couple of interceptions, and improved as the year progressed despite the clavicle issue and losing playing time to Jason Pinnock. Belton needs to become a more consistent and reliable tackler and run defender.

The Giants signed Trenton Thompson as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. Thompson played in one regular-season game, exclusively on special teams. Despite playing six years in college, Thompson only became a full-time starter in his final season. He has good size, but lacks ideal speed. Instinctive, he does play faster than he times. Big hitter. Thompson is a good special teams player.

The Giants signed Terrell Burgess to the Practice Squad in November 2022. Burgess played in one regular-season game, exclusively on special teams. Burgess was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He missed most of his rookie season with a broken ankle. Burgess has played in 31 regular-season games with three starts, accruing 29 tackles and one pass defense. He played in seven games with the Rams in 2022 before they waived him in November.

Punters, Kickers, and Snappers:

Jamie Gillan became the new Giants’ punter in 2022 after signing a reserve/future contract in February 2022. Gillan played all 17 regular-season games and averaged 46.8 yards per punt (40.6 net). Those stats were 18th and 25th in the NFL, respectively. Twenty-six of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, or 35 percent of his punts (21st-best in the NFL). Nine of his punts resulted in touchbacks (tied for second-most in the NFL). He had one punt blocked. Gillan is Scottish born. He was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. Gillan served as Cleveland’s punter for all of 2019 and 2020, as well as most of 2021. The Browns waived him in late December and he was then signed to the Practice Squad of the Buffalo Bills. In 61 regular-season games, Gillan has averaged 45.2 yards per punt (40.2 net yards per punt). Gillan has a strong leg, but is not a strong directional punter. He did improve the number of inside-the-20 punts and avoiding touchbacks as the season progressed.

Graham Gano has arguably been the team’s best player the past three seasons. In 2022, Gano played in all 17 regular-season games and finished the year 29-of-32 (90.6 percent) on field goal attempts and 32-of-34 (94.1 percent) on extra point attempts. One kick was blocked. Graham was 8-of-9 on 50+ yard field goal attempts, with a long of 57 yards. Fifty-nine percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. 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). Gano spent most of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). 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. He has been a steady performer in his three years with the team. 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.