The Giants released their first UNOFFICIAL depth chart on Monday in advance of the team’s first preseason game against the Browns on Thursday night at Metlife Stadium.
Here are some pieces of information I found interesting:
12 is greater than 11: Last year, the Giants’ starting personnel on offense featured three wide receivers, one running back and a tight end (11 personnel). This year, their base offense is being presented as 12 personnel, which features one running back, two tight ends and two wide receivers. Saquon Barkley is listed as the starting running back, with Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison at tight end and Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard at wide receiver. The versatility of Barkley, Engram and even Ellison to line up all over the formation gives head coach Pat Shurmur a ton of flexibility from a formation perspective.
Man In The Middle: Given he has taken the majority of the first team reps going back to June, it might not be a surprise that Jon Halapio is the team’s starting center on their depth chart. Brett Jones, the starter from last season, is listed second on the depth chart behind Halapio. Expect Halapio and Jones to continue to battle for the starting spot throughout the preseason. Rookie Will Hernandez is at left guard and Patrick Omameh is the starting right guard.
Safety First: Despite missing multiple days of practice last week with an injury, Curtis Riley, a third-year player from Fresno State by way of the Tennessee Titans, is the first team safety next to Landon Collins. Riley has flashed some playmaking ability this offseason and sits ahead of Michael Thomas and Darian Thompson. Andrew Adams is listed as a third team safety with William Gay.
A Nickel for Your Thoughts? The Giants do no list the slot cornerback position on their depth chart, but given that Donte Deayon and B.W. Webb are the second team cornerbacks tells me they are likely in the lead for the nickel spot when the team puts five defensive backs on the field. Deayon has missed a week of practice with an injury, and Webb has seized the opportunity by getting his hands on the football a lot. Webb has lined up inside and outside at cornerback. William Gay, who has been the first team slot cornerback for most of the offseason, is not listed as a cornerback at all. He is only listed as a safety.
The Returners: Cody Latimer is listed as the primary kick returner (and as a second team wide receiver), while Hunter Sharp is the primary punt returner and backup kick returner (and also a second team receiver). Look out for Kalif Raymond here, who is the second punt returner and third kick returner, as well as a third team wide receiver. He has flashed excellent speed and quickness at training camp practices.
Rookie Watch: We can’t forget about the Giants’ two third round picks: B.J. Hill and Lorenzo Carter. Hill is already listed as a starter on the defensive line, along with Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson. Lorenzo Carter is listed behind Olivier Vernon as the second team outside linebacker, while Connor Barwin is listed behind Kareem Martin. Don’t be surprised to see James Betcher put several of these players on the field at the same time in passing situations.