New York Giants Scouting Reports

 

Scouting Reports Last Updated: January 23, 2024

Quarterbacks:

After signing a 4-year, $160 million contact in March 2023, the rest of the year was a disaster for Daniel Jones. He suffered his second career neck injury in Week 5 and missed the next three games. When he returned in Week 9, he tore the ACL in his right knee, finishing his season. On top of all of that, Jones was 1-5 in games that he did start, finishing the year with just 909 passing yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions. His injuries and performance issues now put into question his long-term tenure with the organization. After two disappointing seasons in 2020 and 2021, 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. 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. 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 with an ankle injury in 2019, 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. However, ever since his rookie season when he threw 24 touchdown passes, Jones struggled to put points on the board and elevate the play of those around him.

In his second and possibly last season with the Giants, Tyrod Taylor started five games, finishing with a 2-3 record. His first three starts came in October after Daniel Jones was lost due to a neck injury. However, Taylor injured his ribs early in his third start, causing him to be placed on Injured Reserve for a month until December. When he returned to the 53-man roster, the team chose to start Tommy DeVito for two more games before turning back to Taylor in the final two games. Overall, played in 11 games with five starts, completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 1,341 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also rushed for 197 yards. The Giants signed Taylor as an unrestricted free agent from the Houston Texans in March 2022. In his first year with the team, Taylor ended up playing at the end of three games, completing 6-of-8 passes for 58 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. 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 92 regular-season games with 58 starts, completing 61.7 percent of his passes for 12,135 yards, 65 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions. He has also rushed the ball 404 times for 2,268 yards (5.6 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 made the Pro Bowl in 2015. He is 28-28-1 in games started. Taylor lacks ideal size and is somewhat injury-prone. He throws a beautiful deep ball and can hurt teams with his feet. However, his lack of consistent accuracy has plagued him at times throughout his career.

The Giants signed Tommy DeVito as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2023 NFL Draft. Considered more of a camp arm when they signed him, DeVito was added to the Practice Squad in late August. After Daniel Jones was first injured, DeVito was a standard elevation from the Practice Squad for three games and then was signed to the 53-man roster on Halloween. When Tyrod Taylor and Daniel Jones (again) were injured in consecutive games, DeVito was forced to enter those contests, predictably looking shaky in two losses. He then shockingly started the next six games in a row. DeVito struggled in his first start, but then won three consecutive games with a quarterback rating over 100. Then came two subpar losses and DeVito was benched in favor of Taylor. DeVito finished his surprising rookie year playing in nine games with six starts (3-3 overall record). He completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,101 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions. He also rushed for 195 yards and one touchdown. DeVito lacks ideal size, but he is a tough player who did not seem fazed by the situation he was prematurely thrust into as an inexperienced undrafted rookie free agent. Whether or not he is a flash in the pan whose 15 minutes of fame are up remains to be determined. DeVito has a decent arm and some mobility. He can hold onto the ball too long.

The Giants signed Jacob Eason to the Practice Squad in November 2023, cut him in December, and re-signed him to the Practice Squad and 53-man roster in early January 2024. The 6’6”, 231-pound Eason was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He has spent time with the Indianapolis Colts (2020-2021), Seattle Seahawks (2021-2022), Carolina Panthers (2022), San Francisco 49ers (2022), and Carolina Panthers (2023). Eason has only thrown 10 passes in two NFL regular-season games.

Running Backs/Fullbacks:

Hampered by instability and poor play at quarterback and the offensive line, as well as another lower body injury, Saquon Barkley did not have the season hoped for in 2023. Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 2 and missed the next three games. Playing in a total of 14 contests, he finished the 2023 season with 247 carries for 962 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and six rushing touchdowns. He also caught 41 passes for 280 yards and four receiving touchdowns. The Giants drafted Barkley with the #2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. In his six seasons with the Giants, he has broken the 1,000-yard rushing mark three times (2018, 2019, and 2022). Barkley has missed games due to injury in four seasons, including a high-ankle sprain in 2019 (three games), a torn ACL and meniscus in 2020 (14 games), another ankle injury in 2021 (four games), and the ankle sprain in 2023 (three games). The ankle injuries suffered in those three seasons also nagged him in other games he did play. Barkley’s best season was clearly his rookie year. He became only the third rookie in NFL history to accrue 2,000 yards from scrimmage, breaking a slew 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,” and “Pro Football Writers of America Offensive 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 led the NFL with seven 40+ yard runs and six 50+ yard runs. Barkley’s second best season was in 2022. He played with 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. That year, Barkley played in every game, except for being a healthy scratch in the regular-season finale. He was voted to his second Pro Bowl. In looking at the big picture, Barkley never regained his rookie form due to the injuries. While he is still capable of the big play as both a runner and receiver, especially if you can get him in space, the head-turning explosiveness is gone. He’s become a tougher back and is still productive when healthy, but he lacks vision and top instincts in following blocks and has been guilty of some late-game mental and physical mistakes the last couple of seasons. He also had a team-high five dropped passes.

For the second season in a row, Matt Breida has served as the team’s primary back-up behind Saquon Barkley, playing in 26 percent of all offensive snaps. And for the second season in a row, he played in all 17 games, with one start in 2022 and four starts in 2023. However, as with Barkley, the issues at quarterback and on the offensive line reduced his productivity. Breida’s rushing yards dropped from 220 yards on 54 carries (4.1 yards per carry) to 151 yards on 55 carries (2.7 yards per carry). In both years, he had one rushing touchdown. Breida has also caught a total of 37 passes for 206 yards in the past two seasons. The Giants signed Breida as an unrestricted free agent from the Buffalo Bills in March 2022. 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 lacks size (5’10”, 195lbs), but he is a quick, elusive back with good speed. He can also catch the football.

Gary Brightwell’s 2023 season was largely sabotaged by a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 7. He spent the remainder of the year on Injured Reserve. In the seven games that he did play, Brightwell carried the ball nine times for 19 yards (2.1 yards per carry) and caught five passes for 47 yards. His biggest impact remained as a core special teams player. The Giants drafted Brightwell in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. In this three seasons with the Giants, Brightwell has played in 37 games with no starts, carrying the ball 41 times for 164 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and one touchdown. He has 11 receptions for 92 yards. Brightwell has good size (6’1”, 220 pounds) and flashes as a ball carrier.

The Giants selected Eric Gray in the 5th round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He had a somewhat disappointing rookie season, missing a month on Injured Reserve with a calf injury. Gray played in the other 13 games, carrying the ball 17 times for 48 yards (2.8 yards per carry) and catching six passes for 22 yards. Gray has decent size (5’10”, 211 pounds), but he lacks speed. He has yet to consistently demonstrate the balance, quickness, and strength he played with at the collegiate level.

The Giants signed Jashaun Corbin as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants waived Corbin in late August 2023 and he was then signed to the Practice Squad of the Carolina Panthers. The Giants signed him to their 53-man roster from the Carolina Practice Squad in October 2023. Corbin ended up playing in six games, carrying the ball once and catching it three times for minimal yardage. Corbin is is a north/south runner who does his best work between the tackles. He has some shiftiness to his game and can run through tackles. Corbin also can catch the ball out of the backfield.

The Giants claimed Deon Jackson off of waivers from the Cleveland Browns in October 2023; he was added to the Practice Squad in November. He played in one game and had one carry for two yards. The 6’0”, 218-pound Jackson originally signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Colts waived him in September 2023 and he was immediately signed to the Practice Squad of the Browns. The Browns signed him to their 53-man roster and waived him in October 2023. Jackson has played in 29 regular-season games with three starts, carrying the ball 95 times for 283 yards (3.0 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He also has caught 35 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown.

Wide Receivers:

Despite a revolving door at quarterback and one of the worst pass-blocking offensive lines in NFL history, Darius Slayton had a productive year in 2023. He played in all 17 games with 13 starts and finished the season with 50 receptions (third-highest on team), 770 yards (first), 15.4 yards per catch (second), 298 yards after the catch (first), 29 receptions resulting in a first down (tied for first), and four touchdowns (tied for first). Slayton also cut down his dropped passes, with only three drops in 2023. The Giants drafted Slayton in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In four of his five seasons, he has ended the year with 46-50 receptions for 724-770 yards. Slayton has 19 career touchdown catches, with eight coming his rookie season. Slayton’s journey has been up-and-down, but when counted out, he somehow manages to end up on top. He has decent size (6’1”, 194 pounds) and very good speed. Slayton can stretch the field and get deep. He can adjust well to the football and make contested catches, but he has also had issues with dropped passes throughout his career. Slayton is not a very physical receiver and can have issues beating press coverage.

Wan’Dale Robinson had a remarkable bounce back season in 2023 after tearing his ACL in late November 2022. Though it took him some time to regain his old form, and he missed the first two contests, Robinson still played in 15 games with eight starts. He caught a team-high 60 passes for 525 yards and one touchdown with 29 of his receptions going for first downs (tied for first on the team). He was also second in yards after the catch with 287. The Giants selected Robinson in the 2nd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Before the knee injury which ended his rookie season, Robinson played in six games, with three starts, finishing with 23 catches for 227 yards, and one touchdown. He also missed four games in September and October with a knee sprain. Robinson is a tiny (5’8”, 185 pounds) receiver with a small catch radius. However, he is very tough for his size and his quickness presents match-up problems for defenses. Robinson’s background as a receiver/running back hybrid makes him dangerous after the catch as well as on end arounds. However, to date, he’s still averaging under 10 yards per reception and only has three career touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing).

The Giants selected Jalin Hyatt in the 3rd round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Much was expected of him after a stellar training camp, but he simply was not thrown to much as a rookie despite playing in all 17 games with seven starts. Hyatt finished the season with 23 catches for 373 yards. He had no scores despite leading the team with 16.2 yards per reception. Hyatt is a bit on the frail side (6’0”, 185 pounds), but he is a speed merchant who can take the top off a defense. He is not quick or shifty. He shows natural hands but did have three drops. Overall, Hyatt needs to develop more consistency and reliability.

After proving to be a productive and reliable late-season addition in 2022, Isaiah Hodgins did not have the type of season expected of him in 2023. Hodgins played in all 17 games with nine starts, but he finished the season with just 21 catches for 230 yards and three scores. The Giants claimed Hodgins off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in early November 2022. He immediately saw the field, playing in eight regular-season games with five starts. He finished with 33 catches for 351 yards and four touchdowns. In the playoff game against the Vikings, Hodgins caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. 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 and quickness, but he has good size (6’3”, 201 pounds) and runs good routes. He was steady and reliable for the Giants in 2022, but was too much of a non-factor in 2023.

The Giants signed Parris Campbell as an unrestricted free agent from the Indianapolis Colts in March 2023. After a solid training camp, Campbell did not deliver the goods despite playing in the first 12 games with three starts. Wan’Dale Robinson took his slot position and Campbell ended up being declared inactive by the team for the last five games. Campbell finished with just 20 catches for 104 yards (5.2 yards per catch). The 6’1”, 208-pound Campbell was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Colts. He had an injury-plagued first three seasons in Indianapolis, missing extensive time in 2019 (sports hernia, broken hand, broken foot), 2020 (MCL and PCL knee injury), and 2021 (broken foot). From 2019-2021, he only played in 15 games, catching a total of 34 catches for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Campbell finally played in all 17 games in 2022 with 16 starts. He finished the year with 63 catches for 623 yards and three touchdowns. Campbell has very good speed and quickness, but he was not productive at all for the team in 2023.

The Giants made an odd decision to retain Sterling Shepard on the roster in 2023, especially given the fact the little-used receiver had no special teams value. While he played in 15 games with two starts, Shepard only received 15 percent of the offensive snaps. He finished the season with an embarrassing 10 catches for 57 yards with three dropped passes (the highest drop rate for a receiver on the team). 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 missed significant time due to injury in his five other seasons before 2023, including tearing his ACL in September 2022. 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 23 career touchdowns). In his prime, when healthy, Shepard was a fluid athlete with good quickness and route-running skills. But he’s at the end and may retire.

The Giants signed Gunner Olszewski to the Practice Squad and then 53-man roster in late October 2023 in order to bolster the punt return unit. Though considered more a returner than actual receiver, Olszewski did receive a handful of offensive snaps with no catches. He returned 23 punts, averaging 11.9 yards per return, and scored on a 94-yard punt return. The 6’0”, 190-pound Olszewski was originally signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. After three seasons with the Patriots, Olszewski signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March 2022. The Steelers waived him in October 2023. Olszewski was named first-team All-Pro as a punt returner in 2020. He has played in 65 regular-season games with four starts, catching 15 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown. He also has carried the ball 14 times for 71 yards. Olszewski has returned 41 kickoffs for 904 yards (22 yards per return) and 98 punts for 1,170 yards (11.9 yards per return) and two touchdowns. Olszewski has 11 career fumbles.

The Giants signed Dennis Houston to the Practice Squad in late August 2023. The 6’1”, 202-pound Houston originally signed with the Dallas Cowboys after the 2022 NFL Draft. He spent most of 2022 on Dallas’ Practice Squad, playing in two regular-season games and catching two passes for 16 yards. The Cowboys waived him in late August 2023.

The Giants placed Bryce Ford-Wheaton on Injured Reserve in late August 2023 with a torn ACL that he suffered in the preseason finale. The Giants signed Ford-Wheaton as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2023 NFL Draft. Wheaton combines excellent size, speed, and overall athletic ability. However, he is inconsistent catching the football and needs work on his route running. Ford-Wheaton flashed as a gunner in the preseason.

The Giants signed Chase Cota to a reserve/future contract in January 2024. The 6’4”, 200-pound Cota was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2023 NFL Draft. He was cut by the Lions in late August and he spent time on the Practice Squads of the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans.

Tight Ends/H-Backs/Fullbacks:

The Giants acquired Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2023 in exchange for a 3rd-round pick. Waller was a daily standout in training camp and it was anticipated that he would be the centerpiece of the passing offense. However, right before the season, Waller appeared on the injury report with a left hamstring injury, the same injury that wiped out much of his 2022 season the Raiders. While Waller did not miss any early games and was leading the team in receptions, the injury seemed to negatively affect his play and overall impact. Worse, Waller injured the right hamstring in Week 8, an injury that caused him to be placed on Injured Reserve and miss five games. He later returned to play the last four games of the season. In all, Waller played in 12 games, with 11 starts, and finished the year with 52 catches and 552 yards, both numbers being second-best on the team. However, he only had one touchdown. The 6’6”, 238-pound Waller was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He has spent time with both the Ravens (2015-2018) and Raiders (2018-2022). His best two seasons were 2019-2020, when he caught an incredible 197 passes for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns. However, Waller has missed 18 regular-season games the past three seasons with injuries, specifically ankle and knee sprain injuries in 2021 and hamstring issues in 2022 and 2023. Waller, a former wide receiver, is purely a receiving-type tight end who runs good routes and, when healthy, can threaten defenses vertically down the field. Due to his tall, lanky frame, he’s more of a liability as a blocker.

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. However, Bellinger regressed in 2023. His blocking was subpar and he seemed more cumbersome as a receiver, catching just 25 passes for 255 yards despite playing all 17 games with 13 starts. The 6’5, 253-pound Bellinger looks the part. He flashed some athleticism as a receiver as a rookie and was known for his blocking in college, but he will need to rebound from a disappointing 2023 campaign.

Lawrence Cager spent the first six games of 2023 on the 53-man roster, spent two weeks on the Practice Squad, and then spent the next seven games on the 53-man roster. The Giants placed him on Injured Reserve in late December 2023 with a groin injury. In all, Cager played in 11 games with no starts, catching just four passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. He played in just 15 percent of offensive snaps in those 11 games. 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 October 2022 and the Giants immediately signed him to the Practice Squad that same month 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. Cager has played in 21 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 Tyree Jackson to the Practice Squad in late August 2023 and the 53-man roster in early January 2024. He played in two games, with one start, but did not have a catch. The 6’7”, 249-pound Jackson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Buffalo Bills after the 2019 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Bills (2019), DC Defenders (2020), and Philadelphia Eagles (2021-2023). The Eagles cut him in late August 2023. A quarterback in college and with the Bills and Defenders, the Eagles converted him to tight end in 2021. Jackson has played in 16 regular-season games with four starts, catching three passes for 22 yards and a touchdown.

Offensive Tackles:

The opening drive of 2023 was one to forget for Andrew Thomas. The Giants drove down field against the Cowboys, and facing a 3rd-and-2 from the 8-yard line, Thomas was flagged with his only accepted penalty of the year (false start). A bad snap led to a 14-yard loss on the next play. The ensuing field goal attempt was blocked for a touchdown and on this play, Thomas pulled his hamstring chasing down the ball carrier. Thomas remained in the game for a while, making the injury worse, and being flagged for his only other penalty of the year (a holding penalty that was declined). The hamstring injury caused him to miss the next seven games. The offensive line and the team never really recovered from losing their best offensive player. Without Thomas, the line completely fell apart, not being able to function. When he returned in November, the Giants were 2-8 with the season being all but officially over. Thomas started the last nine games, with the team going 4-5. In those contests, Thomas once again proved that he remains one of the best left tackles in football. The Giants drafted Thomas in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft. After an inconsistent rookie season that was hampered by an ankle injury that required surgery, and an injury-plagued (foot and ankle injuries) second season, Thomas blossomed into an All-Pro in 2022. 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. He has to stay healthy, however, having had lower leg injury issues in three of his four seasons.

The first two seasons of Evan Neal’s pro career has not gone as planned. The Giants selected 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. In 2023, Neal suffered a concussion in training camp that caused him to miss two valuable weeks of practice. A right ankle injury nagged him for all of October, causing him to also miss two games. When he returned in early November, he broke his left ankle, an injury which required surgery. Neal only started seven games, missing 10, and again struggled with his balance and footwork in pass protection when he did play. He was also flagged five times, for a total of 11 penalties in his first two seasons. 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.

After cutting him in late August 2023, the Giants re-signed Tyre Phillips to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Philadelphia Eagles in October. He was immediately thrust into the starting lineup at right tackle due injuries to Evan Neal. Phillips suffered a torn quad tendon in his right leg in Week 17, an injury that required surgery and he was placed on Injured Reserve in early January 2024. In all, Phillips played in 10 games with nine starts at right tackle. The Giants originally claimed Phillips off of waivers from the Baltimore Ravens in early September 2022. He played in 12 games in 2022 with five starts, including four games at right tackle when Neal was out again, and the regular-season finale at left tackle. 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 with Baltimore, Phillips 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. Phillips has good size. He is a better run blocker than pass blocker due to his athletic limitations. However, he improved his technique in that area in 2023. He was flagged three times in 2023. The late-season injury could affect his availability in 2024.

The Giants selected Matt Peart in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of the University of Connecticut due to his size (6’7”, 315 pounds) and overall athleticism. He looks the part. However, Peart has not developed as hoped, being more of finesse player than someone who wants to get dirty in the trenches. In his four seasons with the team, Peart has played in 43 regular-season games with seven starts. Five of those came in 2021 (three at left tackle, two at right tackle) when he was unable to push the struggling Nate Solder. Peart tore the ACL in his left knee in late December, 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. In the two games where he saw significant snaps at right tackle, he struggled. In 2023, Peart was inactive or did not play in nine games. In the eight games he did see action, Peart played about a third of the snaps in two games (one bad game and one decent game) and a full game at right tackle in the finale (where he played well). He was flagged twice in his limited snaps.

The Giants signed Joshua Miles to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad of the Atlanta Falcons in October 2023. The team shifted him to the Practice Squad in November. Miles did not play for the Giants in 2023. The 6’5”, 325-pound Miles was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He played in a combined 17 games with no starts in 2019 and 2021. Miles missed all of 2022 with an undisclosed injury and was signed by the Falcons in March 2023.

The Giants signed Yodny Cajuste to the Practice Squad in October 2023, where he spent the remainder of the season. The 6’5”, 310-pound Cajuste was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. In four seasons with the Patriots, Cajuste played in 17 games with five starts. In May 2023, he was waived by the Patriots and signed by the New York Jets, who then cut him in August.

Offensive Guards:

It was chaotic season for Ben Bredeson and entire interior line crew of the Giants in 2023. Bredeson saw time at training camp at both guard positions and center, not being locked into one position. This continued into the regular season as Bredeson started four games at left guard, four at center, and eight at right guard. He started 16 games, missing Week 3 with a concussion. Overall, Bredeson did not play well and was a liability. His significant issues in pass protection were not offset by his run blocking, which was ordinary at best. He was also flagged six times. Bredeson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. The Giants acquired Bredeson by trade from the Ravens in late August 2021. Hampered by hand and ankle injuries, he only started one game for the Giants in 2021. Bredeson started eight games for the Giants in 2022 at left guard, but also missed six games due to a knee injury. Bredeson has good size (6’5”, 315 pounds). While he’s a try-hard guy whose best asset is his versatility, he lacks the power and athleticism to be anything more than a solid back-up.

Out of sheer desperation, the Giants signed Justin Pugh to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October 2023. Pugh ended up starting the final 12 games of the season, with two starts at left tackle and ten starts at left guard. This despite tearing his ACL in October 2022 and not practicing until he signed with the Giants. Pugh brought veteran leadership and some stability to a reeling offensive line. But he did not play well, being a liability as both a run and pass blocker. He was also flagged five times. The 6’5”, 311-pound Pugh was originally drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. After five seasons in New York, Pugh signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, where he played five more seasons. Pugh turns 34 in August and is unlikely to be re-signed.

The signing of Mark Glowinski to a 3-year, $18 million contract as an unrestricted free agent from the Indianapolis Colts in March 2022 has not panned out. He started 16 games at right guard for the Giants in 2022, being too inconsistent in the process. While it was anticipated he would once again man the right guard position in 2023, the first warning signs came in training camp when other players were splitting first-team practice snaps with him. Glowinski was benched after the opener, started four games in October, and did not start again until the finale in January. In all, Glowinski played in 13 games with six starts at right guard. He did not play or was inactive in four other games. Somewhat shockingly, despite all of the talent and injury issues on the team’s offensive line in 2023, the coaching staff preferred to start the struggling Ben Bredeson and Justin Pugh over Glowinski for the bulk of the season. He was flagged four times in 2023. 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 124 regular-season games with 96 starts. At his best, earlier in his career, Glowinski may have lacked ideal power and athleticism, but he was a a tough, dependable blue-collar lineman who got the most out of his ability.

The Giants drafted Joshua Ezeudu in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2022, he played in 10 games, with two starts at left guard before being placed on Injured Reserve with a neck injury in mid-December. In 2023, after Andrew Thomas got hurt, Ezeudu was unfairly forced to play left tackle despite not practicing there during the spring and summer. It was an odd decision by the coaching staff. Ezeudu started five consecutive games at the position before being placed on Injured Reserve with toe injury in October. Predictably, he was terrible at left tackle and was flagged six times. 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 decent feet and a powerful frame which aids him as a run blocker. To date, Ezeudu has struggled in pass protection at the NFL level, having issues recovering against quickness.

After missing missing all of his rookie season with an ACL tear to his right knee that he suffered in training camp, Marcus McKethan played in 16 games with five starts in 2023. All five starts came in the first half of the season, with four at right guard and one at left guard. Given his level of inexperience, McKethan predictably struggled in pass protection and was eventually benched. He was flagged once. The Giants selected McKethan in the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6’6”, 340-pound McKethan is massive, powerful lineman who can muscle and maul defenders. But he may lack the agility and recovery quickness to survive in pass protection at the NFL level.

After a promising rookie season in 2020, Shane Lemieux has had three disastrous, injury-plagued seasons in a row from 2021 to 2023. 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. 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 2023, Lemieux played in four games with one start at left guard, missing another game with a groin injury before being placed on Injured Reserve in October with a torn biceps. In all, Lemieux has only played in six games the past three years, being placed on IR four times. Ironically, the 6’4”, 310-pound Lemieux started an incredible 52 games in college, never missing a game. Before his series of injuries, Lemieux was a tough, feisty, blue-collar lineman with athletic limitations. To date, Lemieux has proven to be a good run blocker who struggles at times in pass protection.

The Giants signed Jalen Mayfield to the Practice Squad in late August 2023 and the 53-man roster for one game in October 2023. He also played in two other games as a standard elevation from the Practice Squad. Mayfield played half a game in Week 5 and struggled, giving up three pressures and two holding penalties. The 6’5”, 320-pound Mayfield was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He played tackle in college but the Falcons named him their starting left guard during his rookie season when he started 16 games. Mayfield missed all of 2022 with a lower back injury. The Falcons waived him in late August 2023.

Offensive Centers:

The Giants selected John Michael Schmitz in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He was immediately inserted into the starting lineup and had an inconsistent season where he struggled at times and battled injuries. In all, Schmitz started all 13 games that he played in, missing three games in October with a shoulder injury and the finale in January with a shin injury. Both injuries impacted him in other games. Schmitz has good size (6’4”, 320 pounds) and can generate movement in the ground game and get to the second level. However, his lack of ideal overall athleticism showed up when called upon to move laterally on wide zone runs. It also showed up in pass protection at times. Schmitz has top intangibles for the position where his intelligence, maturity, toughness, work ethic, and leadership are assets for the entire line. Schmitz was flagged four times in 2023.

The Giants signed Sean Harlow as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in early August 2023 and waived him four weeks later on cutdown day. In October, the Giants re-signed him to the 53-man roster off of the Practice Squad of the Dallas Cowboys. Harlow ended up playing in seven games, mostly on special teams although he did play 15 offensive snaps in one game. The 6’4”, 284-pound Harlow was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He has spent time with the Falcons (2017, 2018-2020), Indianapolis Colts (2018), and Cardinals (2021-2022). Harlow has played in 41 regular-season games with eight starts, five at left guard in 2021 and three at center in 2022 with the Cardinals.

The Giants placed J.C. Hassenauer on Injured Reserve in early August 2023 with a torn triceps he suffered in a training camp practice that required surgery. The Giants signed Hassenauer in April 2023 as a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers after they did not tender him as a potential restricted free agent. The 6’2”, 295-pound Hassenauer was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2018 NFL Draft. He was cut before the season started in 2018 and signed with the Steelers in April 2019, cut in August, and then re-signed in November. From 2020-2022, Hassenauer played in 45 regular-season games for the Steelers with seven starts, five at center and two at left guard. He also started one playoff game at center. Hassenauer is viewed mainly as a steady, reliable back-up.

The Giants signed Jimmy Morrissey to a reserve/future contract in January 2024. The 6’4”, 305-pound Morrissey was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Las Vegas Raiders. He began his rookie season on the team’s Practice Squad, but the Houston Texans signed him to their 53-man roster in October 2021. In his three seasons with Houston, Morrissey has spent time on both the 53-man roster and Practice Squad. He has played in 14 regular-season games with four starts.

Defensive Ends:

The Giants signed A’Shawn Robinson as an unrestricted free agent from the Los Angeles Rams in April 2023 to add some much-needed depth to the defensive line. Robinson was coming off a torn meniscus to one of his knees that he suffered in late November 2022 with the Rams. He began training camp on the PUP List and took some time to round back into form. However, by the second half of the season, Robinson proved to still be a top-notch run defender. His presence and strong play was needed given that the Giants had traded away previous fixture Leonard Williams in late October. Robinson played in all 17 games, with 13 starts, and finished the season with 62 tackles (most on defensive line), six tackles for a loss, one quarterback hit, and two pass defenses. He played 46 percent of defensive snaps. The 6’4”, 330-pound Robinson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. After spending four seasons with the Lions, Robinson signed a free agent contract with the Rams in 2020. Robinson is big, powerful run defender who does not generate much heat on the quarterback (only seven career sacks in eight seasons).

The Giants selected D.J. Davidson in the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He missed the bulk of his rookie season after tearing an ACL in Week 5. The injury caused him to begin training camp on the PUP List. Inactive for two games, Davidson did play in the other 15 contests with two starts. He finished the season with 13 tackles, one tackle for a loss, 0.5 sacks, one quarterback hit, and two pass defenses. He played in 24 percent of defensive snaps. Davidson is a big (6’5”, 325 pounds), strong lineman who is a better run defender than pass rusher.

The Giants signed Timmy Horne to the 53-man roster in late December 2023 from the Practice Squad of the Atlanta Falcons. He played in Week 16 before being active for the last two games. The 6’4”, 323-pound Horne was originally signed by the Falcons as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. Horne has played in 21 regular-season games with five starts, accruing 31 tackles and two pass defenses.

Ryder Anderson spent all of 2023 on the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants signed 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. Anderson has good size (6’6”, 276 pounds), strength, and length. He flashed at times as a rookie, but also needs to improve his run defense.

Nose Tackles:

Despite being limited for much of the second half of the season with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 11, Dexter Lawrence remained the team’s best defensive player and one of the best at his position in 2023. Lawrence started 16 games, missing one game due to the injury, and finished the season with 53 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, a team-high 21 quarterback hits, and two pass defenses. And for the second season in a row, Lawrence earned second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl recognition. 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, Lawrence did not really blossom into the player he has become until 2022 under the tutelage of Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson when he was also shifted to his more natural nose tackle position, Despite being regularly double-teamed, Lawrence is now a difference-maker as both a run defender and pass rusher. Built like a prototypical run-stuffing nose tackle (6’4”, 342 pounds) with excellent size, strength, and power, Lawrence also flashes tremendous short-area quickness and range for his size. Due to the hamstring and better depth at the position, Lawrence’s snap count percentage dropped from a too-high 82 percent in 2022 to a more acceptable 67 percent in 2023.

The Giants signed Rakeem Nunez-Roches as an unrestricted free agent from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March 2023 to provide depth behind Dexter Lawrence. Nunez-Roches played in 16 games, with four starts, missing one game due to a knee injury. He finished the season with 26 tackles, one tackle for a loss, 0.5 sacks, one quarterback hit, and one pass defense. He played 44 percent of defensive snaps. The 6’2”, 307-pound Nunez-Roches was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He has spent time with the Chiefs (2015-2018), Indianapolis Colts (2018), and Buccaneers (2018-2022). Nunez-Roches has played in 118 regular-season games with 42 starts. His best season was in 2022 when he played in 17 regular-season games with 10 starts, accruing 33 tackles and two sacks. Nunez-Roches is a good run defender who rarely flashes as a pass rusher. Tough and a good locker room presence.

The Giants selected Jordon Riley in the 7th round of the 2023 NFL Draft as a relatively unknown prospect whose only asset appeared to be excellent size (6’5”, 325 pounds). However, Riley impressed in the summer and made the 53-man roster. Despite being inactive nine of the first ten games of the season, Riley began to earn playing time in the second-half of the season. He played in eight games, receiving 26 percent of the snaps on those contests. Riley finished the year with eight tackles and one tackle for a loss. Although not much of pass rusher, Riley flashes the ability to hold the point-of-attack with strength and power.

Outside Linebackers:

In his second season, Kayvon Thibodeaux markedly improved in 2023. He started all 17 games and was credited with 50 tackles, 12 tackles for losses (tied for team high), 11.5 sacks (team high), 16 quarterback hits, four pass defenses, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He played 87 percent of all defensive snaps. Mixed in with that very good productivity, however, there were a handful of games where Thibodeaux was invisible, sparking the ire of fans. The Giants selected 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. As a rookie, 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. Thibodeaux combines excellent size (6’5”, 258l pounds), athleticism, power, and strength for the position. To reach an elite level, he needs to make an impact week-in and week-out. Thibodeaux is well regarded by the coaching staff for his leadership and work ethic.

After a promising rookie season in 2021, Azeez Ojulari’s stock plummeted in 2022 and 2023. 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, finishing with 48 tackles, eight tackles for losses, eight sacks, 13 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, and one forced fumble. His sophomore season was a disaster. Ojulari suffered multiple injuries throughout the year (hamstring, both calves, ankle) that caused him to miss most of training camp and the regular-season, playing in just seven games with five starts. In 2023, he missed Weeks 2 and 3 with a hamstring injury that likely nagged him in other games, and then missed a month on IR (Weeks 6-9) with an ankle injury. In the 11 games he did play, with seven starts, his impact was minimal with 16 tackles, three tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, and one fumble recovery. Ojulari teased with the flashy plays, but the game-to-game, play-to-play consistency and physicality, especially in run defense, were missing. 2024 will likely be a make-or-break season for him. He has to stay healthy and become a more dependable player. He has a knack for getting to the quarterback; he just doesn’t do it enough because of all the time he has missed.

In his second season with the Giants, Jihad Ward remained a solid but unspectacular player whose value came more from reliability and veteran presence in the locker room. However, due to his close ties with Wink Martindale, his days with the Giants may be numbered. Ward played in all 17 games with nine starts, finishing with just 24 tackles, five tackles for losses, a career-high five sacks, nine quarterback hits, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He played in 59 percent of all defensive snaps. 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 Jacksonville Jaguars (2021). The Giants signed Ward as an unrestricted free agent from the Jaguars in March 2022. Ward has played in 102 regular-season games with 35 starts, 20 of which have come with the Giants in the past two seasons. He is a better run defender than pass rusher with some inside-outside, defensive line-linebacker versatility.

The Giants acquired Boogie Basham by trade in late August 2023 from the Buffalo Bills (Giants received a 7th rounder and Basham in exchange for a 6th rounder). Despite the low investment cost, Basham did not work out for the Giants. He played in 13 games with no starts, and was made inactive for four consecutive weeks in the second half of the season. Basham finished with just 11 tackles and no impact plays despite playing in 23 percent of defensive snaps. Basham was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Bills. He has played in 23 regular-season games with no starts for Buffalo, accruing 37 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one interception, and one fumble recovery. The 6’3”, 274-pound Basham is a hybrid 3-4/4-3 end who has inside-outside versatility.

The Giants signed Benton Whitley off of the Practice Squad of the Minnesota Vikings in November 2023. He played in three games for the Giants before being ruled inactive in the last three contests, receiving just a handful of defensive snaps. The 6’4”, 260-pound Whitley was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2022 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Rams (2022), Kansas City Chiefs (2022), and Vikings (2022-2023). Before coming to the Giants, Whitley had only played in one regular-season game.

Tomon Fox spent the year on the team’s Practice Squad although he was a standard elevation for one late-season game where he played 19 defensive snaps and had one tackle. The Giants signed 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. Fox finished the year with 24 tackles, three tackles for losses, and one sack. Fox has decent size (6’2”, 253 pounds) and plays hard.

The Giants signed Jeremiah Martin to the Practice Squad in early January 2024. The 6’4”, 267-pound Martin was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cleveland Browns after the 2023 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in late August.

Inside Linebackers:

The Giants signed Bobby Okereke as an unrestricted free agent from the Indianapolis Colts in March 2023. He was outstanding addition to a team that has been starved for quality inside linebacker play for years. Okereke not only started all 17 games, but he played every defensive snap (1,128 in all). He was credited with a team-high 149 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, a team-high four forced fumbles, two interceptions, and 10 pass defenses. On the downside, he was flagged seven times. The 6’2”, 235-pound Okereke was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Colts. Okereke is a complete linebacker who can play the run, blitz, and cover in the passing the game. Super productive, he was credited with 432 tackles the past three seasons.

In his second season, Micah McFadden won the starting inside linebacker spot opposite of Bobby Okereke. McFadden played in 16 games with 14 starts, missing Week 5 with an ankle injury. He finished the season with 101 tackles (third highest on the team), 12 tackles for losses (tied for first), one sack, six quarterback hits, four fumble recoveries (team high), one interception, and five pass defenses. On the downside, he was also credited with a team-high 22 missed tackles. The Giants selected McFadden in the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he played in all 17 regular-season games with seven starts. McFadden is a bit on the small side (6’2”, 232 pounds) and lacks ideal overall athleticism, the latter shows up in his lateral agility against the run and ability to cover receivers down the field. But McFadden is tough, competitive, and plays hard. He obviously needs to cut down on the missed tackles (almost a 20 percent missed tackle percentage in 2023).

The Giants traded for Isaiah Simmons in late August 2023 from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 7th-round pick. While the former high draft pick did not press for a starting position, he did serve as a valuable role player on defense. Simmons started all 17 games with four starts, accruing 50 tackles, two tackles for losses, one sack, one quarterback hit, one interception that he returned for a touchdown, and three pass defenses. He was sent on the blitz 54 times, which was fifth highest on the team. Simmons also played in half of the special teams snaps and was credited with six special teams tackles (tied for fourth on the team). The 6’4”, 238-pound Simmons was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft (8th overall selection). In three seasons in Arizona, Simmons played in 50 regular-season games with 37 starts. However, he never lived up to his draft expectations and never found one position to call home, hence the cheap trade to the Giants. Simmons is a fast, run-and-hit player who is at his best when blockers are kept off of him. He can cover and he can blitz, but struggles against the run.

After spending all of his rookie season in 2022 on Injured Reserve with a torn ACL that he suffered in the preseason, Darrian Beavers spent most of his second season with the Giants on the Practice Squad. Beavers was signed to the 53-man roster in late December and played in the last two games of the year, exclusively on special teams. The Giants drafted Beavers in the 6th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6’4”, 255-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 in 2022 before he was injured.

Drafted in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Giants, Carter Coughlin has become almost exclusively a special teams player. In the past two seasons, Carter has only received eight total defensive snaps while playing in over 85 percent of special teams snaps. In 2023, playing in all 17 games, Carter led the team with nine special teams tackles. Coughlin has not been used much on defense since his rookie season. He’s an average athlete, but is tough and competitive.

Drafted in the 6th round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Giants, Cam Brown has become exclusively a special teams player. Brown only received three defensive snaps in 2022 and none in 2023, while playing 85 percent of all special teams snaps. In 2023, he played in 16 games, and was credited with eight special teams tackles (second highest on the team). Brown is a tall, lanky athlete (6’5”, 233 pounds) who runs well.

The Giants signed Dyontae Johnson as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2023 NFL Draft. He spent the entire season on the team’s Practice Squad. Johnson is a somewhat undersized (6’2”, 230 pounds) linebacker who was productive in college.

The Giants placed Jarrad Davis on Injured Reserve in July 2023 with a knee injury that required surgery, ending his season before training camp even started. The team originally signed 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. Solidly built with decent range, Davis plays a physical game. However, he lacks ideal lateral agility and has had issues reading and reacting to running plays. Davis will flash, but he is not consistent enough.

Cornerbacks:

The Giants selected Deonte Banks in the 1st round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He immediately earned a starting spot and largely lived up to expectations for his rookie season. Banks missed the last two games of the season with a shoulder injury, but started the other 15 games (84 percent of defensive snaps), being credited with 64 tackles, two tackles for losses, two interceptions, and 11 pass defenses (tied for first on the team). Penalties were an issue, with Banks being flagged seven times in coverage. Banks combines good size (6’2”, 200lbs) with very good overall athleticism, quickness, and speed. He performs well in aggressive man coverage. He is a physical player who also tackles well.

The injury-prone Adoree’ Jackson did not play as well in 2023, giving up too many big plays in the passing game and missing too many tackles. Jackson once again missed time with injuries, one game with a neck injury and two with a concussion. In 14 starts (88 percent of defensive snaps), he finished the season with 63 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception he returned for a touchdown, and eight pass defenses. He was also flagged four times. Jackson was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Giants signed Jackson in March 2021 after he was cut by the Titans. One of his biggest problems has been his inability to stay on the field. Jackson has missed games for five consecutive years, and three years in a row with the Giants. In 2021, he missed four games with a quad and one game due to COVID; in 2022, he missed seven games with an MCL sprain. However, in 2022, he was clearly the team’s best corner when he did play, being able to match-up against some of the League’s better wide receivers. Jackson is an average-sized corner (5’11”, 185 pounds) who can run and play a physical game in man coverage. He does not make a lot of plays on the football, however, with just four career interceptions.

In his second season, Cor’Dale Flott surpassed Darnay Holmes on the depth chart for the team’s nickel cornerback spot. However, Flott had an up-and-down year, flashing at times and struggling at other moments in coverage. He did not play in the first three weeks, but ended up playing in the remaining 14 games (56 percent of defensive snaps) with seven starts, accruing 36 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception, and five pass defenses. He was flagged four times. The Giants drafted Flott in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Flott played in 11 games with six starts as a rookie, missing six contests with a calf injury. Flott is tall, but thinly-built (6’2”, 175 pounds). He impresses with his overall fluidity and movement skills, but his slight frame hinders him against contact, especially with more physical receivers. It’s also a factor in run defense and when tackling.

The Giants selected Tre Hawkins III in the 6th round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of Old Dominion University. He surprisingly impressed right away, earning first-team reps throughout the summer and drawing the praises of the coaching staff. However, once the real bullets began to fly, Hawkins struggled in coverage when he played, forcing the team to look at other corners. Hawkins played in all 17 games with three starts, finishing the season with 35 tackles and one pass defense. He received 31 percent of defensive snaps, with most of his playing time coming in seven games, including the first three weeks of the season. He was also flagged four times. Hawkins is a tall corner (6’3”, 195 pounds) with very good speed and overall athleticism, but he is very raw and needs a lot of technique development. He has the tools, and has flashed solid man coverage skills, but whether he has the mental make-up to succeed at the NFL level remains to be seen.

While Nick McCloud saw his playing time decrease in 2023, with his overall defensive snaps falling from 57 percent in 2022 to 28 percent in 2023, he remained a valuable and versatile reserve and sometimes starter. McCloud played in all 17 games with three starts and was credited with 28 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception, and two pass defenses. He was not penalized. The Giants claimed 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. McCloud was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Bills after the 2021 NFL Draft. McCloud combines good size (6’0”, 193 pounds) and overall athleticism. He is physical with good instincts, and has been used in multiple positions in the secondary, including safety. However, McCloud had his ups and downs in coverage, particularly against better receivers. He’s best suited as reserve and special teams player (he was third on the team with seven special teams tackles in 2023).

In his four seasons with the Giants, Darnay Holmes has proven to be an inconsistent, up-and-down player. He lost his nickel corner job to Cor’Dale Flott and saw his defensive snap total fall from 59 percent in 2022 to 12 percent in 2023. Holmes played in 16 games with no starts, being inactive in Week 2. He finished with 18 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one forced fumble. two interceptions, and three pass defenses. The Giants drafted Holmes in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He missed a total of ten games his first two seasons with knee and neck injuries. Holmes lacks ideal height (5’10”) but he’s a well-built, physical, and aggressive player who plays with good speed and quickness. While Holmes has a knack for making plays, he also has an unfortunately knack of giving up completions at key moments as well being a penalty machine (20 penalties in four seasons, including three more in 2023). Holmes played a career-high 45 percent of snaps on special teams and responded with six special teams tackles in 2023.

The first three seasons of Aaron Robinson’s pro career has been a disaster. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Giants, Robinson has only played in 11 games in three years. In his rookie season, he missed all of training camp, the preseason, and the first half of the regular season with a core muscle injury that required surgery. Robinson won a starting cornerback spot in 2022, but missed Weeks 2 and 3 with appendicitis, and then tore his ACL and MCL in Week 4, missing the rest of the season. Worse, he never returned in 2023, spending the entire season on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Robinson combines good size (6’1”, 193 pounds) and overall athletic ability. He can play both outside and the nickel corner spot. However, it remains to be seen if he can get his football career back on track. He has not played much since his final collegiate season in 2020.

The Giants signed Kaleb Hayes to the Practice Squad in late August 2023, where he spent the entire season The 6’0”, 195-pound Hayes was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2023 NFL Draft. The Jaguars waived him in late August 2023.

The Giants signed Stantley Thomas-Oliver to the Practice Squad in late October 2023 and he spent the remainder of the season there. The 6’0”, 190-pound Thomas-Oliver was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, who cut him in September 2023. In his first three years with the Panthers, Thomas-Oliver played in 25 regular-season games with no starts, accruing 17 tackles.

Safeties:

In his four seasons with the Giants, Xavier McKinney has had two that stand out and where he played every game, 2021 and 2023. McKinney not only played in every contest in 2023, but he played every single defensive snap (1,128). He finished the season with 116 tackles (second-highest on the team), two tackles for losses, 0.5 sacks, one quarterback hit, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions (team high), and 11 pass defenses (tied for team high). McKinney was solid and dependable most of the season, and sometimes spectacular. Probably the biggest knock on him that more plays on the football were expected by someone with his range and cover skills. While flagged three times, none involved coverage penalties. The Giants drafted McKinney in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He missed 10 games in his rookie season 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, and finished the season with 88 tackles, 10 pass defenses, and a team-high five interceptions (one of which he returned for a touchdown). 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 combines decent size (6’0”, 201 pounds) with good speed, quickness, and instincts for the position.

Jason Pinnock became a full-time starter in his second season with the Giants in 2023, playing virtually every defensive snap (95 percent) until a toe injury caused him to miss most of Week 17 and the regular-season finale when he was placed on Injured Reserve. Pinnock ended up starting 16 games, accruing 85 tackles, six tackles for losses, two sacks, six pass defenses, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. One of his interceptions he returned 102 yards for a touchdown. He was only flagged once. Pinnock was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He played in 12 games with two starts as a rookie. The Giants claimed Pinnock off of waivers from the Jets in late August 2022 and he ended up playing in 14 games with 5 starts, missing three games due to shoulder and ankle injuries. Pinnock is a physical, aggressive player with good speed. He is a good run defender and flashes as a blitzer. Solid and dependable, Pinnock needs to make more plays on the football in order to elevate his game to the next level.

In his second season, Dane Belton was firmly entrenched as the team’s primary reserve at safety. He played in all 17 games with two starts (26 percent of all defensive snaps), and finished with 33 tackles, three tackles for losses, one sack, two quarterback hits, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, and two pass defenses. He was not flagged. When he played, Belton has a knack for making big plays. The Giants selected Belton in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Belton broke his clavicle in early August in training camp. He missed the entire preseason and first regular-season game, and the injury nagged him all season. Nevertheless, Belton ended up playing in 15 regular-season games with five starts. Belton combines decent size (6’1”, 190 pounds), range, and agility. He is still too inconsistent in coverage, run defense, and tackling, but he flashes very good ability and is instinctive.

The Giants selected Gervarrius Owens in the 7th round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He impressed in the summer and made the 53-man roster, but only played in three games as a rookie, exclusively on special teams. Owens is a former cornerback with decent size (6’0”, 200 pounds) and overall athleticism. In college, he flashed play-making ability and an aggressive, physical style, but also was too inconsistent.

Punters, Kickers, and Snappers:

In his second season as the team’s punter, Jamie Gillan markedly improved in 2023, raising his net punting average from 39.7 in 2022 to 42.3 in 2023 (tied for 13th in the NFL). He also reduced his touchback percentage from 12.2 percent to 4.2 percent with 35 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. This despite groin and knee injuries late in the season that noticeably hampered his punting. Gillan is Scottish born. He was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. He punted for the Browns from 2019-2021, but the Browns cut him December 2021. Gillan has a strong leg. He needs to keep improving his overall consistency and reliability. He’s won a couple of “Special Teams Player of the Week” honors, one with the Browns and one with the Giants.

The Giants placed Graham Gano on Injured Reserve in early November 2023 with a left knee injury that required surgery, ending his most disappointing season as Giant. Gano finished the season 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) on field goal attempts, including one blocked kick returned for a touchdown. Playing hurt before being placed on IR, he also missed a 35-yard field goal against the Jets which cost the team the game. Gano was arguably the team’s best player from 2020 to 2022, converting on 31-of-32 field goal attempts (96.9 percent – second highest in team history), 29-of-33 field goal attempts (87.9 percent), and 29-of-32 field goal attempts (90.6 percent) in those three consecutive seasons. Remarkably in 2022, Graham was also 8-of-9 on 50+ yard field goal attempts, with a long of 57 yards. Before coming to the Giants, Gano was with the Washington Redskins (2009-2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012-2019). The Panthers released him in late July 2020. Gano played in the Pro Bowl after the 2017 as an alternate.

The Giants signed Randy Bullock to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in November 2023. The Giants placed him on Injured Reserve in late December with a hamstring injury. Bullock played in six games for the Giants in 2023, finishing 5-of-6 on field goal attempts with a long of 56 yards. The 5’9”, 210-pound Bullock was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He has spent time with the Texans  (2012-2015), New York Jets (2015), Giants (2016), Pittsburgh Steelers (2016), Cincinnati Bengals (2016-2020), Detroit Lions (2021), and Tennessee Titans (2021-2022). In his last season with Tennessee, Bullock was 17-of-20 on field goal attempts (85 percent) and 28-of-28 on extra points.

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 four 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.