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Giants release unofficial depth chart for Week 1

DANIEL-JONES-ARMS-UP

It's beginning to look a lot like football everywhere you go.

The Giants broke training camp, released their 53-man roster, and voted on their team captains. Now, they have announced their Week 1 depth chart for Sunday's home opener against the Denver Broncos.

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."

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Here is a look at the first unofficial depth chart of the 2021 regular season:

BASE OFFENSE

Table inside Article
Position Player Player Player
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

BASE DEFENSE

Table inside Article
Position Player Player Player Player
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

SPECIALISTS

Table inside Article
Position Player Player Player
LS Casey Kreiter
H Riley Dixon
P Riley Dixon
PR Jabrill Peppers Adoree' Jackson Kadarius Toney*
KOR C.J. Board Jabrill Peppers Kadarius Toney*
K Graham Gano

* Rookie

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.

The specialists

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.

Backup quarterback

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."

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