Revealing the Positions Where the Giants Could Use More Depth

Patricia Traina

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman always says that roster-building is a year-round process. So while the Giants’ roster is, for the most part, pretty much set, there are still a few areas where Gettleman might look to add some depth to make sure that new head coach Joe Judge truly has everything he needs for the planned 2020 season.

Center

Other than for Spencer Pulley, the projected starter ahead of the opening of training camp, the Giants have no players who have NFL experience at that spot on the roster.

Nick Gates, whom both Gettleman and Judge have praised and have mentioned as a name to watch for that spot, has practiced at center for most of last year. 

However, with the OTAs and spring minicamps having been wiped out due to COVID-19, it’s still a higher risk to pair a guy with no live game experience with a quarterback who is only in his second season.

It’s also interesting how Gettleman and Judge have both spoken about potentially bringing back Jon Halapio, last year’s starter, to the roster if he’s far enough along in his rehab from the torn Achilles he suffered in last year’s regular-season finale. 

If the Giants were content with what they had at the center spot behind Pulley, would that even be considered?

Who They Should Look At: Justin Britt

Justin Britt only played in eight games last season before suffering a torn ACL in October. Britt was released by the Seahawks back in April as part of a salary cap move.

While Britt, who in his role at center for the Seahawks the last three seasons, has never allowed more than 17 total pressures, would be an intriguing possibility, perhaps the Giants’ thinking here is if they’re going to roll the dice on a player coming off an injury, they might as well go with a guy they know in Halapio.

Cornerback

It appears that the legal charges against cornerback DeAndre Baker stemming from a social gathering alleged to have gone wrong won’t be resolved any time soon. And even if they were, it would be fair to wonder how ready Baker would be to hit the ground running after missing a large chunk of the virtual off-season program.

In the meantime, the Giants added more youth to an already young cornerback position whose average age of 22.8 is the youngest position group on the current 90-man roster.

At some point, one might figure that the young players have to get out there and cut their teeth, but the Giants now being down one perimeter cornerback might have to look for additional depth at this spot if the youngsters struggle or if injuries occur.

Who They Should Look At: Ross Cockrell

Many people probably would like the Giants to go after Logan Ryan, who remains unsigned as of this writing.

But Ryan is likely going to want a more prominent role and the paycheck to accompany it. As previously mentioned, the Giants need to let their young corners start cutting their teeth at the position and instead consider looking for a veteran who would be more accepting of a spot duty role.

A better option might be Ross Cockrell, who spent the 2017 season with the Giants after being traded to them from the Steelers. Cockrell signed with the Panthers in 2018 but missed the season with a broken left leg.

He came back strong in 2019, allowing just 55.2% of the pass targets against him to be completed (37 of 67) while allowing only one touchdown to two interceptions and four pass breakups.

Cockrell brings experience both on the perimeter and in the slot, so his addition to the roster would represent intriguing value.

Kicker

Aldrick Rosas was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident last month, which per the police report also included his driving on a suspended license and with alcohol believed to have been involved.

Although the Giants have been patient in letting all the facts unfold, even if Rosas somehow escapes any potential legal ramifications, he’s almost sure to draw some discipline from the league if it’s determined that he violated the personal conduct policy.

For a first offense, that likely means a minimum of four games, which would most definitely leave the Giants in need of a new place-kicker.

Who They Should Look At: Nick Folk

The Patriots decided to move on from 36-year-old Stephen Gostkowski, who spent most of last year on injured reserve with a hip injury that required surgery.

Given Gostkowski’s connection to new Giants head coach Joe Judge, many people have linked the two sides together. However, it might be worth noting that Gostkowski hasn’t converted 90% or more of his field-goal attempts since the 2015 season when he nailed 92.5% of all his attempts.

If the idea is to have a temporary replacement for Rosas if he has to serve any league-imposed suspension, Nick Folk, who was with he Patriots in 2019, might be a better option.

Folk converted only 84.2% of his field goals for the Patriots last year, but he was also five of eight on attempts of 40 or more yards, including converting one attempt of over 50 yards, this despite missing time due to an appendectomy last season. 

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