TGI Selects Final Roster

Cutting down from 80 to 53 players is hard enough to do at the end of camp. Now we're going to take a crack at it before the preseason even kicks off. While the Giants are in Detroit readying for their first exhibition game, TGI is busy crafting Big Blue's final roster. What would Jerry Reese do without us?

Here follows TGI's crystal ball version of the final 53.

QB (3) – Eli Manning, David Carr, Andre' Woodson. Carr edges out Anthony Wright to claim the backup spot, while Woodson shows some progress later in camp to make the Giants feel a little bit better=2 0about keeping him as the number 3.

RB (5) – Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw, Reuben Droughns, Madison Hedgecock. Despite a pretty solid camp, Danny Ware doesn't have enough to make the final roster at a very crowded position. After considering a trade – while fearful that it might turn out like the Ryan Grant deal with the Packers – the Giants hold their breath as Ware clears waivers and sign him to the practice squad. Ware could force them to keep six at a spot that's usually only reserved for five.

WR (6) – Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham, Sinorice Moss – This is one of the toughest spots to choose, what with eight or nine guys that you'd like to hold onto. This is unfortunately the end of the road for one of the more entertaining Giants in recent years, Michael Jennings. David Tyree goes on PUP so the Giants don't have to worry about adding him to the roster until October. Moss barely makes it over potentially more deserving players like Brandon London, Craphonso Thorpe and D.J. Hall.

TE (3) – Kevin Boss, Darcy Johnson, Michael Matthews. On the flip side, this is one of the easiest positions to fill out on the roster. Boss starts, with Johnson and Matthews in reserve. You better believe there are going to be times this season when they really miss Jeremy Shockey.

OL (9) – David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O'Hara, Chris Snee, Kareem McKenzie, Guy Whimper, Grey Ruegamer, Shane Olivea, Kevin Boothe. Olivea is just too talented not to keep, despite any off-field concerns, which appear to be minimal at this point anyway. His addition leads to the end of Adam Koets' short Giants career. Now he won't have to be around to hear over and over about how he was the only rookie from Jerry Reese's first draft not to contribute to the Super Bowl run.

DL (8) – Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Barry Cofield, Fred Robbins, Renaldo Wynn, Dave Tollefson, Jay Alford, Wallace Gilberry. In a bit of a surprise, the Giants keep Gilberry over sixth-round pick Robert Henderson, who ends up on the practice squad. The top seven are obvious; only the final choice is a difficult one. Gilberry has the most upside of any of the young D-linemen and sticks as a result.

LB (7) – Mathias Kiwanuka, Antonio Pierce, Danny Clark, Chase Blackburn, Zak DeOssie, Bryan Kehl, Jonathan Goff. The surprise here really shouldn't be all that much of a shock as Gerris Wilkinson ends up on Injured Reserve. He finally returns during camp only to reinjure his knee and is unfortunately lost for the season. DeOssie barely hangs on due to his long-snapping skills while the two draft picks both stick because they tear it up on special teams in the preseason.

DB (10) – Aaron Ross, Corey Webster, James Butler, Kenny Philips, Sammy Knight, Michael Johnson, Sam Madison, Kevin Dockery, Terrell Thomas, R.W. McQuarters. Once again, there's really no reason to release Madison, who can still play well enough and serves as a great tutor/mentor to the younger corners. Phillips takes Johnson's starting safety spot, but Butler continues to defy the odds and fights off Knight for the opening-night nod at the other safety spot. After trying every youngster under the sun the Giants decide that McQuarters is still the safest bet at punt returner and he stays. Despite his heroic return, Craig Dahl isn't able to crack this tough secondary. Rookie free agent Nehemiah Warrick is signed to the practice squad.

ST (2) – Lawrence Tynes, Jeff Feagles. After watching these two battle it out in the curfew war on Aug. 1 you would think the Giants would be wise to send them both packing. But seriously, both guys are back to handle their most important of duties. Fortunately the rest of the specialist jobs are handled by guys in other positions, like Alford and DeOssie.

So there you have it. Sure hope you're keeping score at home as well. Now on to the preseason.


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