It's beginning to look a lot like football everywhere you go.
As always, it is subject to change. It simply serves as a guide, more so for the media than the coaches.
"I tell our guys all the time, when they come in, the depth chart is really blank," coach Joe Judge said this summer. "And as we start practicing and they start putting together things on tape, you start filling in names based off of what they're doing. That can change every day. It's really just cumulative. It's what you do consistently day in and day out. Some guys may flash one day, some guys may flash another day, but ultimately you want to go ahead and measure who's consistently dependable, who's productive for you on the field. … They're not written in permanent marker, so at any point, based on who is playing, the best get in that spot."
Here is a look at the first unofficial depth chart of the 2021 regular season:
|WR||Kenny Golladay||Darius Slayton||C.J. Board|
|TE||Evan Engram||Kaden Smith|
|RT||Nate Solder||Matt Peart|
|RG||Will Hernandez||Ben Bredeson|
|C||Nick Gates||Billy Price|
|LG||Shane Lemieux||Ben Bredeson|
|LT||Andrew Thomas||Matt Peart|
|RB||Saquon Barkley||Devontae Booker||Gary Brightwell*|
|FB||Eli Penny||Cullen Gillaspia|
|WR||Sterling Shepard||Kadarius Toney*||Collin Johnson|
|TE||Kyle Rudolph||Kaden Smith|
|QB||Daniel Jones||Mike Glennon|
|SLB||Lorenzo Carter||Quincy Roche*||Cam Brown|
|DE||Dexter Lawrence II|
|MLB||Blake Martinez||Reggie Ragland||Justin Hilliard*|
|NT||Austin Johnson||Danny Shelton|
|WIL||Tae Crowder||Carter Coughlin|
|DT||Leonard Williams||Raymond Johnson III*|
|OLB||Oshane Ximines||Azeez Ojulari*|
|LCB||James Bradberry||Rodarius Williams*||Josh Jackson||Sam Beal|
|SS||Jabrill Peppers||Julian Love|
|FS||Logan Ryan||Xavier McKinney|
|RCB||Adoree' Jackson||Darnay Holmes||Keion Crossen|
|PR||Jabrill Peppers||Adoree' Jackson||Kadarius Toney*|
|KOR||C.J. Board||Jabrill Peppers||Kadarius Toney*|
View photos of the Giants' first unofficial depth chart of the 2021 season.
Here are some notes on the first depth chart:
Right side of the offensive line
One of the biggest questions heading into training camp was how the right side of the offensive line would shake out. Will Hernandez, who made all 39 of his previous starts at left guard, has moved to the right guard spot and is slotted as the starter. As for right tackle, Nate Solder is now listed as the starter ahead of Matt Peart, a switch from the initial depth chart released heading into the first preseason game. Solder opted out of last season due to pandemic concerns and rejoined the team this offseason.
New offensive linemen
The Giants made some late-summer additions to the group by trading for Billy Price and Ben Bredeson.
They sent defensive lineman B.J. Hill and a conditional seventh-round 2022 draft choice to the Bengals for Price, a former first-round pick. The Giants acquired Bredeson, a 2022 fifth-round selection and a 2023 seventh-round choice from the Ravens in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round draft choice.
Price is listed as the backup center behind Nick Gates, who was recently voted one of seven team captains for 2021. Bredeson is the backup at both guard spots behind Hernandez and Shane Lemiuex.
Price, 6-4 and 310 pounds, was selected out of Ohio State by the Bengals 21st overall in the 2018 draft. In three seasons, he played in 42 games with 19 starts (11 at center, seven at left guard and one at right guard).
Bredeson, 6-4 and 315 pounds, is entering his second NFL season. A 2020 fourth-round draft choice – No. 143 overall – by the Ravens, he played in 10 games as a rookie, primarily on special teams. Bredeson also appeared as an extra lineman in some offensive packages.
Where the 2021 rookie class lands
Kadarius Toney – WR2, PR3, KOR3
Azeez Ojulari – OLB2
Aaron Robinson – Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List
Elerson Smith – Injured Reserve
Gary Brightwell – RB3
Rodarius Williams – LCB2
Quincy Roche – SLB2
Justin Hilliard – MLB3
Raymond Johnson III – DT2
The offensive weapons
The Giants' top offseason priority was surrounding Daniel Jones with more offensive weapons, which they accomplished by signing Kenny Golladay at the start of free agency. Golladay, who has two 1,000-yard seasons on his resume and led the NFL for a season in touchdown catches, claimed one of the top wide receiver spots on the depth chart. The other is Sterling Shepard, the longest-tenured active Giant.
Meanwhile, the Giants await the return of injured playmakers like running back Saquon Barkley and tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Evan Engram. Judge said Monday they won't have a decision on the injured players until later in the week.
"I'd say a number of these guys coming back right now, we're optimistic about all of them, to be honest with you," Judge said. "We'll see how they do throughout this week in practice. Saw a lot of guys make a lot of gains last week. There are a lot of guys that are getting reintroduced to the team that missed some time in training camp. I'd say it was a productive week in terms of them making progress with the team on the field. Obviously, this week will be a big thing for them. Having today is a big part of that, kind of a bonus day, tomorrow being a little bit of a rest day. Gives us a little bit more of a window going into the tail end of the week. Again, I'd say as much as Saquon with all those guys, I don't think we'll make any final decisions until later in the week."
Austin Johnson moves into top nose tackle spot
The Giants had to part ways this year with defensive co-captain Dalvin Tomlinson, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent. Tomlinson had started all 64 games since he was drafted in 2017, but with him gone, Austin Johnson moved into the lead spot. Johnson joined the Giants last season and played in all 16 games. He was originally a second-round draft choice by the Titans in 2016.
With his background, Judge always has a close eye on the special teams. Graham Gano returns at kicker after having one of his finest seasons in 2020, his first with the Giants. Gano made 30 consecutive field goal attempts, the longest streak in Giants history. Riley Dixon also returns as holder and punter after placing 28 punts inside the opposition 20-yard line in 2020, tying him with the Rams' Johnny Hekker and the Bears' Pat O'Donnell for the NFL's third-highest total. He also tallied a career-high 5 special teams tackles. Casey Kreiter returns after flawlessly snapping on punts and placekicks in 2020.
As for return specialists, the versatile Jabrill Peppers is first on punts, followed by Adoree' Jackson and Kadarius Toney. Returning kickoffs will be C.J. Board, who is followed by Peppers and Toney on the depth chart.
After Colt McCoy spent one season with the Giants, the team signed former third-round pick Mike Glennon to back up Jones. Judge was asked what made the 6-foot-7 Glennon the right choice for the team.
"We just liked Mike from knowing the league," Judge said. "He had history, obviously, some experience playing a lot of games in this league. He's had some production along the way. He's got physical tools that we think will fit into our system very well. We like his demeanor and his mentality as far as coming on in. We obviously looked at a lot of quarterbacks this offseason. He was a guy that was available and a fit for us."