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Giants Release First Unofficial Depth Chart

Posted Aug 9, 2016

The Giants released their first unofficial depth chart of the 2016 season:

Football is back.

The New York Giants kick off the preseason this Friday night against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Leading up to the game, the team released its first unofficial depth chart of the 2016 season.

If anything, it gives us something to talk about as the long months without football are now in the rearview mirror. The depth chart is just a starting point on the long road to filling out the 53-man roster, which will be finalized on Sept. 3. In between now and then, the Giants have four preseason games to evaluate the lineup while they continue to progress through training camp.

>> VIEW UNOFFICIAL DEPTH CHART

“We need to get to the games and give guys an opportunity to separate themselves,” coach Ben McAdoo said last weekend. “When you get to the preseason games, we are jockeying for reps and jockeying for positions right now, but the games will tell us more.”

With that in mind, check it out and take it for what it’s worth. Here are some notes about the Giants’ unofficial depth chart:

1. NO SURPRISES

Looking up and down the base offense and base defense, the depth chart reflects what we’ve seen from the start of organized team activities (OTAs) in the spring through the second week of training camp. The offensive line remained intact with Bobby Hart behind Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Last week, McAdoo said that Hart is “going to have the opportunity to start.” The 2015 seventh-round draft pick needs to prove “that he can do the job. He's just got to win the job. It's there for him,” McAdoo said.

On defense, the headliners of the Giants’ haul in free agency -- cornerback Janoris Jenkins, defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Damon Harrison -- are all penciled in as starters, just like they have been since arriving in East Rutherford.


2. ROOKIES SHEPARD, THOMPSON ON FIRST TEAM

Especially as of late, the Giants are not afraid to play young players. Just look at the rookie seasons of players like Odell Beckham Jr., Devon Kennard, Weston Richburg, Ereck Flowers, Landon Collins, and the list goes on. The 2016 class looks to do the same. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard and safety Darian Thompson, the Giants’ second- and third-round picks, respectively, are listed as starters. Cornerback Eli Apple, the No. 10 overall pick in the draft, is listed behind Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Giants will use Apple plenty, though, in a variety of packages that the team has been mixing and matching all throughout the spring and into summer.

3. LB ROLES TAKING SHAPE

After holding down the position for the second half of last season, Jasper Brinkley returns to the top spot at middle linebacker, trailed by Kelvin Sheppard and rookie B.J. Goodson, the fourth-round pick out of Clemson.

>> READ: PRACTICE REPORT

Meanwhile, Devon Kennard is on the strongside and Jonathan Casillas mans the weakside. One thing to note is that newcomer Keenan Robinson is on the second team at weakside linebacker after primarily playing in the middle with the Redskins, his former team. But it’s such a situational league now. The Giants have a wide variety of packages to use for certain downs and distances.

4. JOHNSON LISTED WITH TIGHT ENDS

When asked this spring if Will Johnson would play tight end or fullback -- or both -- for the Giants, McAdoo wasn’t going to tip his hand and simply replied “sure.” For what it’s worth, the veteran, who signed this offseason after four years with the Steelers, is listed at tight end, while Nikita Whitlock is the lone fullback. Johnson played fullback, H-back and tight end in Pittsburgh. McAdoo touched on the subject again last week at camp and said that they lump fullbacks and tight ends together.

5. BERHE, TAYLOR SECOND-TEAM SAFETIES

The safety competition was on everyone’s radar heading into the offseason, and Darian Thompson immediately put himself at the head of the line to start opposite Landon Collins. Those two are listed as starters with Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor behind them.

“We have a lot of reps and we are trying to keep the reps as even as we can right now with the first, second and third groups,” McAdoo said. “We have some guys working in some different groups, so we are just doing as best as we can to keep things even right now.”