Breaking down the Giants' 53-man roster

September, 1, 2013
9/01/13
6:40
PM ET
A position-by-position look at the New York Giants' 53-man roster, which of course is likely to change tonight, tomorrow or at some point in the next few days as the team looks over the waiver wire:

Quarterbacks (3): Eli Manning, Curtis Painter, Ryan Nassib

Determined to keep Nassib as a developmental prospect, the Giants go with three quarterbacks for the first time in six years. Painter won a training-camp competition over incumbent backup David Carr. He's also six years younger and about $400,000 cheaper, which may have played into it.

Running backs (5): David Wilson, Andre Brown, Da'Rel Scott, Michael Cox, Henry Hynoski

Little bit surprising that they only took four halfbacks (Hynoski's a fullback), considering Brown looks to be out four to six weeks with a fractured leg. Cox could steal kick-return duties from Wilson, who was one of the best kick returners in the league last year. This is a spot at which the Giants could add someone this week.

[+] Enlarge Victor Cruz
AP Photo/Bill KostrounUncertainty over Victor Cruz's heel bruise could lead the Giants to add another wide receiver.
Wide receivers (5): Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Louis Murphy, Jerrel Jernigan

Another spot where you could conceivably see them look to add, especially if Cruz' heel bruise keeps his status for Sunday's opener in question. But part of the reason they only kept five here is...

Tight ends (4): Brandon Myers, Bear Pascoe, Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell

One reason they may have kept four is that Pascoe is the fill-in fullback while Hynoski heals from his knee injury. But Donnell had a good camp, and the Giants do like to reward that.

Offensive line (9): Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee, Justin Pugh, David Diehl, James Brewer, Jim Cordle, Brandon Mosley

No surprises, though they'll be thin in the early going due to injuries to Baas and Diehl. They could put Diehl on injured reserve/designated to return and add a lineman from the practice squad or elsewhere, but not until Tuesday and not if they use that designation on Andre Brown, which is also possible.

Defensive line (10): Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Damontre Moore, Linval Joseph, Cullen Jenkins, Shaun Rogers, Johnathan Hankins, Mike Patterson, Justin Trattou

Trattou seemed like a surprise over guys like Adrian Tracy and Adewale Ojomo, but coach Tom Coughlin said he won the spot due in part to superior special-teams play. Patterson's strong camp won him a job over 2011 second-round pick Marvin Austin, who got cut. Moore's shoulder injury is worth watching as the team plans to use him as part of the defensive end rotation and they don't like to be thin there.

Linebackers (5): Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger, Dan Connor, Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich

Mild surprise they cut Kyle Bosworth and went with just five, but as we've discussed many times here, the Giants simply don't care about this position.

Defensive backs (9): Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Antrel Rolle, Ryan Mundy, Cooper Taylor, Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross, Jayron Hosley, Trumaine McBride

Six cornerbacks and only three safeties here, which makes you think they'll still look to add at safety. If not, Thomas says he could play it in a pinch. Thomas is the best story on the roster, making the team after missing the last two years due to two reconstructive knee surgeries.

Specialists (3): Josh Brown, Steve Weatherford, Zak DeOssie

Never in doubt.

Final word: Having 26 on offense and 24 on defense gives the roster an unfinished feel. Most teams like to split it 25/25 if they can. There's some juggling to be done at the positions noted above, and some of that juggling could be going on as we speak. But the Giants may also wait to base some decisions on who is and is not able to practice this week.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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