Meet the new faces on the Giants 2015 roster
On this day three months ago, the NFL rang the opening bell to mark the official start of the new league year.
With that sound came free agency as the inevitable roster turnover was put in motion for all 32 clubs -- some major, some minor, and some in the middle, like the New York Giants.
Shortly after, the league ushered in its new 256-member draft class, including six for Big Blue, beginning with first round pick, University of Miami offensive tackle Ereck Flowers. Then came the undrafted free agents to fill in the cracks before teams began their organized team activities (OTA) and upcoming mandatory minicamps.
With the former wrapping up this week and the latter starting next Tuesday-Thursday, we look at how the newcomers are coming together with the returning veterans as they build the 2015 Giants roster.
RB Shane Vereen, WR Dwayne Harris, OT Marshall Newhouse, OL Brett Jones, QB Ricky Stanzi, OL Emmett Cleary, WR Juron Criner
OT Ereck Flowers, WR Geremy Davis, OL Bobby Hart
Undrafted free agents:
OT Sean Donnelly, RB Akeem Hunt, TE Matt LaCosse, TE Will Tye, WR Ben Edwards, RB Kenneth Harper
With all eyes on the unit, the Giants rolled out a new-look offensive line that featured two of the new faces mentioned above.
The rookie Flowers opened up OTAs at left tackle with the first team after the incumbent starter Will Beatty suffered a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery.
On the opposite side, the veteran Newhouse began at right tackle as Justin Pugh, who started at that position for his first two seasons, moved inside to left guard.
Meanwhile, the Giants added more weapons to the offense with Vereen, who set the record for most receptions by a running back in Super Bowl history with the Patriots, and Harris, a special teams ace from Dallas who is looking to carve out more of a role on offense with the Giants.
Coupled with the return of wide receiver Victor Cruz, the Giants hope to build on their success down the stretch from last season as offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo begins his second year.
DE George Selvie, DT Kenrick Ellis, LB J.T. Thomas III, LB Jonathan Casillas, LB Victor Butler, DB Trevin Wade, Safety Josh Gordy
Safety Landon Collins, DE Owa Odighizuwa, Safety Mykkele Thompson
Undrafted rookie free agents:
Safety Justin Currie, LB Cole Farrand, DE Brad Harrah, DT Carlif Taylor
The Giants believe they got a first-round pick in the second round when they seized the opportunity to be aggressive and traded up to select Collins, a unanimous All-American out of Alabama, with the first pick on the second day.
They brought him in to compete for a starting role right away, and so far, he is doing just that and practicing with the first unit.
In front of him, the Giants bolstered their defensive line with proven veterans like Selvie and Ellis while improving the linebacker corps with Thomas and Casillas. Now it's in large part up to Steve Spagnuolo, who returned this offseason as the Giants' defensive coordinator, to get them all to live up the defensive tradition in the organization.
K Chris Boswell, Punter Robert Malone
In addition to the above specialists, the Giants made a conscious effort to bring in new faces to fortify all the special teams outfits and not just the returners. While they did get at least one of those with Harris, the new linebackers will look to make an impact in coverage, as will all the rookies, which is a requirement under Tom Coughlin.
Photos of the Giants 2015 official roster