Lots of questions remain on defense with Giants' 53-man roster

Here's a player-by-player look at the New York Giants' 53-man roster:


Eli Manning: Entering his 12th year in the NFL and his second in a Ben McAdoo offense that helped him to a career-best completion percentage in 2014.

Ryan Nassib: Manning literally never misses a game, so Nassib must content himself with another year of development and scout-team work unless disaster strikes.


Rashad Jennings: Averaged 3.8 yards per carry and 7.5 yards per catch in his injury-shortened first Giants season.

Andre Williams: Led the team in rushing because Jennings got hurt. They will use him to help spell Jennings at times this year.

Shane Vereen: After catching 52 passes in the regular season and 18 in the postseason for the Super Bowl champion Patriots, he'll be the Giants' third-down back.

Orleans Darkwa: Probably ran the best of any Giants back in the preseason, forcing his way onto the roster with a tough performance.


Nikita Whitlock: One of Saturday's big upsets, made the team over veteran Henry Hynoski because of his versatility and his effort on special teams.


Odell Beckham Jr.: Expectations are insanely high for the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year and Madden '16 cover athlete.

Victor Cruz: Coming off 2014 knee injury and August calf injury, Cruz still hopes to start Week 1 but has to get on the practice field soon.

Rueben Randle: Bothered by knee problems all camp, Randle heads into his free-agent year hoping to break out from early-career inconsistencies.

Dwayne Harris: Kick-return and punt-return specialist hopes to carve out a role in the offense as a receiver.

Preston Parker: Had 36 catches and two touchdowns last year, and likely made the team because they know he can play the slot if Cruz can't get healthy.

Geremy Davis: Rookie sixth-rounder showed well on special teams and as a receiver. If he had to play, the Giants wouldn't worry about him.


Larry Donnell: After a 63-catch, six-touchdown breakout in 2014, look for Donnell to be an even bigger part of the receiving corps in 2015.

Daniel Fells: Does the blocking dirty work with which Donnell struggles, and that gets him on the field in some key spots near the goal line.

Jerome Cunningham: Beat out 2012 fourth-round pick Adrien Robinson with a strong camp.


Ereck Flowers: A lot is riding on the rookie first-rounder's ability to start at left tackle and protect Manning's blind side. He showed well in the preseason.

Justin Pugh: Moves to left guard after starting at right tackle his first two years, and they hope he'll flourish there as a run blocker.

Weston Richburg: The 2014 second-rounder will start at center after starting at left guard as a rookie. Manning's fifth different starting center in the past three seasons.

Geoff Schwartz: In a fight with John Jerry for the starting right guard spot, which should be his if he can show he's healthy enough. He also could start at right tackle.

John Jerry: Signed as a backup in 2014, he started all year at right guard and could be a major factor this year as well.

Marshall Newhouse: Still looks like the starting right tackle, though he struggled in preseason.

Dallas Reynolds: Backup center who got a lot of work in preseason while Richburg struggled with a knee issue. He has Manning's trust.

Bobby Hart: Rookie seventh-round pick could help at guard or right tackle, but his inexperience is one reason the Giants are looking to add a ninth lineman in advance of Week 1.


Robert Ayers: As the most experienced pass-rusher among an uninspiring group, Ayers is a likely starter and will be asked to carry a lot of the load.

Kerry Wynn: Last year's undrafted surprise could actually line up as a starter Week 1 in Dallas, though he'd only be holding a spot until Jason Pierre-Paul's return.

Damontre Moore: Tantalizing speed and athleticism but still too mistake-prone. Moore turns 23 on Friday, and the Giants hope he takes a big step this year.

George Selvie: They hope he can help them set the edge in the run game, which isn't a strength of any of the other ends except this rookie.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa: Giants have high hopes for this year's third-round pick, who's already a helper in the run game as he works to develop pass-rush moves.


Johnathan Hankins: Broke out last year with a strong performance against the run and a surprising seven sacks. He's the best player in the Giants' front seven.

Cullen Jenkins: You could see him start at one of the defensive end spots if they're desperate.

Markus Kuhn: Impressed coaches with improved footwork this camp and made the team over free-agent signee Kenrick Ellis.

Jay Bromley: The third-rounder from 2014 is still developing but could become a bigger part of the rotation this year.

Louis Nix: Was the Texans' third-round pick in 2014 but didn't play a game due to injury. At 6-foot-2, 331 pounds, he fits the Giants' preferred physical profile for a defensive tackle.


Jon Beason: After missing 12 games last year with a foot injury, Beason is hoping he can answer the bell this year. The middle linebacker is important as an on-field leader in Steve Spagnuolo's defense.

Devon Kennard: The Giants believe this will be a breakout season for their 2014 fifth-round pick, who's likely to help a lot in blitz packages as a pass-rusher.

J.T. Thomas: Former Jaguar the Giants signed in free agency has to help in coverage to stay on the field.

Jonathan Casillas: Signed mainly for special teams but could see the field if he shows utility as a coverage linebacker.

Mark Herzlich: Almost strictly a special teamer if everyone's healthy, but he did play the run well when pressed into starting linebacker duty last year.

Uani' Unga: A strong preseason earned him the role of Beason's backup at middle linebacker over veteran Jameel McClain, who was cut.


Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: When they signed Rodgers-Cromartie in 2014, the Giants hoped he could cover the opponent's No. 1 receiver every week. That will be his assignment, and he's healthier than he was last year.

Prince Amukamara: Giants want to see their 2011 first-round pick healthy for a whole year with free agency looming. There will be a lot of pressure on him and Rodgers-Cromartie, as Spagnuolo will have to blitz to create pressure.

Trumaine McBride: If he can stay healthy, he's likely to be the team's starting nickel cornerback.

Jayron Hosley: The 2012 third-rounder is still somehow sticking around. Played better in practice in the final weeks of camp and saved his spot.

Trevin Wade: Could be the first backup on the outside if one of the starters goes down.

Asa Jackson: Coming off a season-ending knee injury, he was waived by the Ravens and reunites with former Baltimore DBs coach Spagnuolo in New York.


Landon Collins: Rookie second-rounder showed improved range in the final preseason game and will be asked to handle a lot at a position of major weakness for the team.

Cooper Taylor: Leg injuries seem to have deprived him of speed, but he has size and continues to develop.

Stevie Brown: They know what he can do because they remember the eight interceptions from 2012. But they also remember benching him in 2014. Which Stevie will they get?

Brandon Meriweather: Veteran headhunter seems more likely to play the box safety role for which Collins is suited than the free safety role they're still looking to fill.


Josh Brown: This 36-year-old veteran made 24 of 26 field goal attempts last year and is seen as reliable from all distances.


Brad Wing: Acquired last week from Pittsburgh after veteran Steve Weatherford was cut, Wing punts left-footed and should offer a different look.


Zak DeOssie: Reliable as it gets and a maniac on special teams, DeOssie is part of the furniture.