By Michael Stewart @golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants headed by GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge continue to add more players to the roster through free agency as we are just under a month away from the 2020 NFL Draft. Currently, the Giants have signed a total of 15 free agents with 6 being from their current roster. The Giants will also have 10 picks in the draft and although Gettleman used all 10 of his picks in 2019, it’s unlikely that he will do it again in 2020; even if he does trade back in the 1st.
Aside from the draft picks, Gettleman will also sign a few UDFA prospects as well in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. Last season, the Giants had a few young players on the IR and on the practice squad that the Giants think very highly of. Among all these players, I want to focus on my top 5 players who could make the 53 man roster in 2020.
- Reggie White Jr. (WR) 6’2/215: White was a UDFA in 2019 out of Monmouth College and impressed the Giants with his speed, catching ability and his work ethics. White nearly made the 2019 team roster, but was relegated to the practice squad to further develop his still set. White could get a good opportunity in 2020.
- Chris Slayton (DT) 6’4/308: Slayton was a 7th round pick out of Syracuse in the 2019 draft and gave the Giants enough production in the pre-season to warrant a place on the practice squad. The team has two interior linemen playing in their final contract year (Williams and Tomlinson), so expect the Giants to take a hard look at Slayton this pre-season.
- Nate Harvey (OLB) 6’1/230: Harvey was a dominating force in 2018 at East Carolina with 25.5 tackles for losses (1st in the nation) and 14.5 sacks in 12 games. Harvey sustained an injury early in pre-season last year, but is fully healthy and will need to have an impressive camp to earn a spot.
- Mark McLaurin (S) 6’1/212: McLaurin spent the 2019 season on IR and he could make a strong case to earn a spot on the Giants roster. McLaurin has good size and plays against the pass and run well. McLaurin would really need to have an impressive camp, but he has the skill set to do it.
- CJ Conrad (TE) 6’4/246: Conrad nearly made the roster in 2019 and spent some time on the Giants practice squad. The Giants re-signed Conrad this off season and have added Levine Toilolo in free agency to compete with Kaden Smith and Evan Engram. As it stands right now, it appears that Engram and Toilolo have the top two spots locked up and it would be a battle between Smith and Conrad to secure the third tight end spot on the roster as it would seem that the Giants will more than likely only carry three tight ends.
Final Thoughts: It’s unclear if/when the Giants will draft any of these five positions in the upcoming draft with other positional needs such as: Offensive tackle, center and defensive end as the top three needs after free agency. GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge are putting together a roster of certain type of players that fits their mind set and the way they want their players to be. Many mock drafts and football experts are split on whether or not the Giants will or should trade back in the 1st round. Regardless; look for the Giants to be more active than in the previous two drafts with possibly two trades occurring on day one and either on Days two or three. This should be a very competitive training camp and players will be fighting hard to earn a spot.