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Fact or Fiction: Depth chart reaction; looming roster decisions


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

There were no surprises on the first unofficial depth chart.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Another factual statement would be that coaches dislike these unofficial depth charts. As always, they are subject to change, serving more as a guide for the media. With that said, the depth chart reinforced what we've seen at practice and heard from the top brass.

Lance Medow: Fact – There were a few things that jumped out to me on the first unofficial depth chart but nothing that classifies as surprising. Ben Bredeson, Mark Glowinski and John Michael Schmitz have all been involved in the guard and center rotations during practice, so seeing them listed as starters was expected, especially since Bredeson and Glowinski were both in the mix last season. The same can be said for Darnay Holmes and Jason Pinnock at nickel corner and strong safety, respectively. Both players were on the 2022 roster, are familiar with the scheme and contributed in those listed roles. The only other spots worth mentioning are the return men with Gary Brightwell on kickoffs and Eric Gray on punts, but the former returned kickoffs last season and Gray has special teams experience in his college career and has been working on that facet during practice.

Matt Citak: Fact – Nothing on the first unofficial depth chart was too surprising. The only positions I was a little uncertain about were the two returners, which we have since seen Eric Gray earn the first-team spot at PR and Gary Brightwell at KOR. However, both young running backs spent a lot of time returning during special teams periods at camp, so even this wasn't that surprising.

The first-team offensive line will remain the same for Week 1.

Dan Salomone: Fact – There is still a month to go to Sunday night against the Cowboys, so competitions are not over yet. But they might be getting close. Asked last week about the balance between rotation and consistency, offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said, "I think we just want to go through our evaluation process and let it declare itself." The depth chart, albeit unofficial, was the first declaration.

Lance Medow: Fact – As I noted in my response to the first statement, Ben Bredeson, John Michael Schmitz and Mark Glowinski lining up from left to right on the interior of the line should be expected. Bredeson and Glowinski assumed those roles in 2022 and Michael Schmitz was the team's second round pick this year. We know the tackles are set, so there's nothing up for debate there. The only player who could possibly shake things up at guard is Joshua Ezeudu, but I'd still give the edge to Bredeson and Glowinski. Those two are in the driver's seats, and I don't see that changing, assuming both are healthy.

Matt Citak: Fact – While you never know what could happen over the next month, it seems like the spot on the O-line that is most up for grabs at this point is left guard. However, Ben Bredeson has been solid when given an opportunity dating back to last year, and has looked good this summer as well. Barring an injury, the first-team offensive line has a good chance of remaining as is by the time the season opener comes around.

View photos from Detroit, where the Giants and Lions held joint practices ahead of their preseason opener.

The biggest remaining roster decision is how many wide receivers to keep.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Another twist is how many tight ends the Giants will keep. That has become a deep room with Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager, Tommy Sweeney, Chris Myarick, and Ryan Jones. Each position affects another when it comes to the puzzle that Joe Schoen and his staff put together.

Lance Medow: Fact – We've been discussing the volume of wide receivers throughout the offseason, and after the first two weeks of camp, the question remains as to how many will earn a roster spot. You can make a case for seven, but that's likely a luxury most teams can't afford to set aside due to other needs. That's why I'd lean more toward six, but even if you stick with that number, narrowing the group down is no picnic. The most depth on the roster is at wide receiver given the mix of experience, youth, upside and versatility. It's still too early to say what the final number will be.

Matt Citak: Fiction – The biggest remaining roster decision does involve the wide receiver position. However, it is less of a "how many" question and more of a "which ones" question. I believe the front office and coaching staff have a number in mind for how many wideouts they will keep heading into the season; they just don't know who exactly will fill those last few spots. With the depth the Giants currently have at the position, it would not be surprising if one or two of the wide receivers who don't make the initial 53-man roster quickly land with another team through waivers. But as we see each and every year, a lot can happen during the preseason, from injuries to breakout performances.

There is at least one player not on the roster who will make an impact on the Giants this season.

Dan Salomone: Fact – By 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 29, more than a 1,000 players will flood the market as clubs must reduce their rosters from 90 to 53 players. The Giants are already doing their homework, including keeping a close eye on the Lions' roster this week as another benefit of joint practices. "You get a look at a whole other roster," Daboll said. "So, I know our scouting department will be here and be evaluating the players, not just our players how they do, but also Detroit's players. I think it works well for us."

Lance Medow: Fiction – We'll avoid the fact sweep this week thanks to this statement. That was the case last season and a popular trend because the roster was in transition with a new GM and new head coach. We saw players such as Isaiah Hodgins, Nick McCloud, Fabian Moreau and Jason Pinnock all contribute after joining the team right before the season started or within the first two months. Unlike last year, entering this season, Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll had a bit more time to bring in the type of players they see fit for the schemes along with another draft class. That's why, barring injury, I don't think there will be as many opportunities across the board as there were in 2022.

Matt Citak: Fact – We saw it last season with Isaiah Hodgins, who was claimed on waivers in early November and went on to finish the season in a tie for the most receiving touchdowns. Safety Jason Pinnock, currently listed as the first-team strong safety, joined the team after cut-down day last year. While every year we wish for no injuries to occur, the reality is that guys are going to get hurt, and players we don't necessarily expect to see the field a lot end up getting extended action. I couldn't tell you what position it will be at, but the Giants will have at least one player who is not currently on the roster make an impact this year.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2023 roster as it currently stands.