Over the past several years after training camp, the New York Giants, like several other NFL teams, cut players to everyone’s surprise. Last year, the Giants surprisingly cut 2019 fifth-round pick, Ryan Connelly. The year before, they released Alonzo Russell after he caught the game-winning touchdown in the final preseason game against the New England Patriots. Here are three surprising roster cuts the New York Giants could make after this year’s training camp.
Potential New York Giants Roster Cuts Following Training Camp
The New York Giants drafted Oshane Ximines in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In his rookie year (playing 45% of defensive snaps), he recorded 25 tackles, five tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks with 12 pressures, and nine quarterback hits. Ximines nearly mocked Lorenzo Carter’s production from the following season.
After the 2019 season, the Giants fired Pat Shurmur and hired Joe Judge as his successor. Judge kept very few coaches from Shurmur’s staff. The new Giants head coach named Patrick Graham as the defensive coordinator. Coming out of the gate in the regular season, it seemed as the staff favored Lorenzo Carter and Kyler Fackrell over Ximines and Markus Golden. The highest percentage of snaps Ximines played was in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants lost 36-9.
Shortly thereafter, Ximines landed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The team designated him to return from IR on November 23rd and he started practicing with the team as well. However, the next week he had surgery on his shoulder, ending his season. Ximines recorded five tackles, one tackle for a loss, and three quarterback hits.
The Giants drafted two more pass-rushers in Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith in April’s draft. Not to mention, they are holding over Carter, Niko Lalos, and Trent Harris from last season. They also signed veteran Ryan Anderson to a prove-it contract.
Being drafted over and under favored is the ultimate disadvantage for Ximines. If he can show the coaches his true talent in camp, he will make the roster. However, if it is like any normal camp for the youngster, his spot is good as gone.
The New York Giants picked up tight end Kaden Smith off waivers on September 16th, 2019. The San Francisco 49ers drafted him the same season in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
Smith did not get any serious action until Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, where he caught his first NFL touchdown. His snaps increased as the season went on, being a primary target of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Smith also made the game-winning catch against former Giant Landon Collins in Week 16 vs the Washington Football Team. He ended his rookie campaign with 31 receptions for 268 yards and three touchdowns in nine games.
The following year, Smith did not get nearly the same attention in the passing game. He ended his sophomore season with 18 receptions for 112 yards and no touchdowns in 15 games. Smith was a solid run-blocker towards the end of the season as he played 45% of the offensive snaps in 2020. However, he only saw 20 snaps more than he did his rookie year.
The signing of Kyle Rudolph has put pressure on him to produce as a tight end. The organization heavily believes in Evan Engram, as they picked up Rudolph for his ability to score in the red zone. The Giants brought back Levine Toilolo in March, so he and Smith are likely battling for the third tight-end spot in training camp. Smith has already been pushed aside as the likely third tight end. If Toilolo beats him at his own game in the preseason, you can bet he will be on the waiver wire in September.
Like Oshane Ximines, Julian Love was drafted by another regime and did not have the smoothest sail into 2020. The Giants drafted Love in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Drafted as a cornerback out of Notre Dame, then-defensive coordinator James Bettcher switched him to the safety spot later on in the year. He got his first snaps in Week 12 against the Chicago Bears, where he recorded his first career interception off Mitchell Trubisky. Love played alongside Antoine Bethea the rest of the way in 2019. Love ended his rookie year with 39 tackles, five tackles for a loss, three passes defended, one interception, one forced fumble, while allowing an opposing completion percentage of 65.5, 190 yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 81.1 in 15 games.
The following year, he endured a sophomore slump, which decreased his playing time halfway through the year. Love was given another opportunity when James Bradberry went to the COVID-19 list in Week 15. He started at outside cornerback opposite Isaac Yiadom. Love started over Yiadom, opposite Bradberry, in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys and played well. Julian Love finished his sophomore season with 64 tackles, one tackle for a loss, three pass deflections, one interception, an opposing completion percentage of 71, 302 yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 109.9.
Though Love finished off the year strong at cornerback, his chances of making the roster are tightening. The Giants drafted Aaron Robinson and Rodarius Williams in April’s draft. Not to mention, they signed Titans’ cornerback Adoree Jackson to a three-year/$39M contract. Like Ximines, Big Blue drafted over Love. Patrick Graham had Love working at safety in minicamp. If he cannot perform up to par in the summer, expect him to be searching for another team in September.