Giants.com writer John Schmeelk answers your fan-submitted questions from #GiantsChat
I would be very surprised if the Giants are as active on the waiver wire at the cut to 53 as they were last year. The group in camp in 2019 is stronger top to bottom. Unlike recent seasons, opposing teams might scoop up some of the players the Giants release on Saturday. They might make a couple of claims on waivers, but I would be surprised if it approached last year's number.
At a team level? No. It is far more important to look at how individual players play and perform in games against superior competition. If a player is able to hold his own against another team's starters in preseason, odds are he can do it in the regular season. The score at the end of the game does not matter a whole lot.
I don't think that was part of the thought process of Pat Shurmur. He wants his most explosive player healthy, unscathed and as fresh as possible when the Giants play the Cowboys in Week One. That's the most important consideration. With the lack of gameplanning in the preseason, the team doesn't learn a whole lot about how they could function without Barkley on the field in the regular season.
Inside linebacker is a possibility, but they have some good choices already on the roster in Jonathan Anderson, B.J. Goodson and even undrafted rookie free agent Josiah Tauaefa. Depending on the health of the backup offensive tackles, that could be a position they scan the wire for, though rarely are there good players available at that position. The other spot to keep an eye on is running back, depending on the health of Rod Smith and how Paul Perkins performs on Thursday night.
It appears Gallman is in the driver's seat for the backup role. If Rod Smith is able to come back from his groin injury, his versatility and ability to play backup fullback might give him the advantage for the third spot. A big performance from Paul Perkins on Thursday night might change the formula. It still feels like an open competition to me. Elijah Penny would be in a separate category as the fullback, although Penny does have running ability.
There's no point in this exercise unless you're bold, right? I'm going to go with linebacker Josiah Tauaefa for the surprise player to make the team. I'm not really sure I have a good surprise cut since most of the players that might not make the team have been talked about before. I'll pass on that part of the question.