Several Giants make CBS Sports' preseason All-NFC East Team
With the preseason now over, the Giants' focus has turned towards the start of the regular season.
But before Week 1 begins, CBS Sports' Jared Dubin examined the best players at each position in the Giants' division and named his preseason All-NFC East Team.
The Giants had several representatives on the list, starting with running back Saquon Barkley. The fifth-year running back got the nod over Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, Philadelphia's Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott, and Washington's Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic.
Third-year tackle Andrew Thomas was also selected following his promising 2021 campaign in which he ranked 12th among all tackles with his 82.1 pass block grade from Pro Football Focus. Dubin labeled the Giants left tackle as an "emerging young star."
Moving over to the defense, defensive lineman Leonard Williams made the team "because he could be unleashed in new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale's highly-aggressive scheme." Williams was recently named to the NFL Top 100 where he landed at No. 97. His 44 quarterback hits since the start of 2020 are tied for the seventh-most among defensive linemen, and his 18.0 sacks are tied for fifth-most in that span. In 2021, his 81 tackles were the fourth-most by a defensive lineman, three fewer than three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.
Despite missing most of last season with an ACL injury, inside linebacker Blake Martinez made the list. "Martinez played in only three games last year but prior to that was a consistent force against the run and showed improvement in coverage," Dubin wrote. "We're betting on a bounce-back."
The final representative from the Giants is talented third-year safety Xavier McKinney, who led the team with five interceptions last season. McKinney's 75.4 overall grade from PFF ranked 14th among the league's safeties, while his 78.4 coverage grade was the 12th best mark at the position.
Barkley, Thomas, Williams and McKinney were named among the Giants' captains for the 2022 season.
View the best photos from training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
New York Giants announce 53-man roster for 2022
The Giants yesterday released 20 players - including their leading passer, receiver and tackler in the just-concluded preseason - to reach the NFL regular-season limit of 53 players. The 20 players were split 10 apiece on offense and offense.
Quarterback Davis Webb, wide receiver Alex Bachman and safety Nate Meadors were the significant August producers who were cut.
Officially, Webb was one of five veterans whose contract were terminated. The others were wide receiver C.J. Board, guard Jamil Douglas, tackle Will Holden and defensive end Jalyn Holmes.
Bachman and Meadors were among the 15 players who were waived. They were joined by running back Jashaun Corbin; wide receiver Jaylon Moore; tight end Austin Allen; offensive linemen Garrett McGhin and Roy Mbaeteka; defensive linemen David Moa and Ryan Anderson; linebacker Quincy Roche; cornerbacks Khalil Dorsey, Darren Evans, Zyon Gilbert and Harrison Hand; and safety Trenton Thompson.
The Giants began the process of winnowing down the roster Monday when they waived wide receivers Keelan Doss and Travis Toivonen; guard Josh Rivas; defensive backs Olaijah Griffin and Yusuf Corker; and kicker Ryan Santoso and terminated the contract of veteran offensive lineman Eric Smith.
"We met with a lot of players today, this morning and yesterday," coach Brian Daboll said Tuesday. "And again, I've said this before, it's always a tough time of year for players and I'd say for the rest of the people in the organization.
"These guys put a lot of time and effort and energy into doing everything they can do to create a role for themselves, and it's tough when you're talking to each individual. And each individual is different. Each individual handles things different. But I think that relationship that you build when you have to tell somebody that they didn't make it, that's always – at least for me – that's tough."
View photos of the New York Giants' 2022 roster as it currently stands.
Giants vote team captains for 2022 season
Casey Kreiter plays a position where anonymity is good, and recognition normally happens only because of a mistake. But Kreiter today received some very welcome attention when his teammates selected him one of the Giants' 10 captains for the 2022 season.
"As a long snapper you kind of do your job," Kreiter said. "And when people don't say your name, that's a good thing. This is one of the times it's good people are saying your name."
The team's other captains are Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas on offense, Xavier McKinney, Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence on defense, Graham Gano and Cam Brown on special teams, plus Julian Love, who received numerous votes as both a safety and special teamer.
"He got a good amount of votes on both sides, so he was the last one we announced this morning after the walkthrough," coach Brian Daboll said of Love. "But all well-deserved, I think. All of them exhibit good leadership, and I think that's a testament to them that they're voted on by their peers. So, those will be our captains."