Wherefore are thou? As of Saturday, on the Giants’ initial 53-man roster, that’s wherefore.
Undrafted rookie DE Romeo Okwara, who had three sacks in four preseason games, made it through the cuts and is officially a Giant. The Notre Dame product climbed from the bottom of the depth chart at the start of training camp to secure a place at a position where the Giants have lots of veteran depth.
“He really came on in camp,” Ben McAdoo said of Okwara. “He really didn’t do a lot in the offseason because he had a hamstring injury. But he bounced back. He takes his coaching well and he really plays with a great amount of energy and passion.”
Okwara will begin as the fifth of five defensive ends on the team, behind projected starters Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul and experienced backups Owa Odighizuwa and Kerry Wynn.
“I think we have a nice group of defensive ends,” McAdoo said. “OV, JPP, Owa, Romeo and Wynn all have some value inside, and they can play inside and outside for us. They can play the run and play the pass. It’s a good group.”
He was the top offensive lineman in Canada before he signed with the Giants last season (and missed all of 2015 on injured reserve). This year, Brett Jones will be an NFL player. Jones was named to the initial 53-man roster and will be the backup center and guard.
“Brett has made some big jumps, some big gains,” McAdoo said. “It’s a shame what happened to him last season. He’s been able to rebound. He’s a great student of the game. He’s a guy that has improved tremendously and will add some versatility inside for us.”
First-round pick Eli Apple is changing his number from 28 to 24, which had been worn by previously-cut DB Bennett Jackson in training camp. Rookie RB Paul Perkins will wear Apple’s old 28 this season. OL Will Beatty will wear 65, his old number with the Giants (he was 64, briefly, after signing on Tuesday), and DT Montori Hughes will wear 99 . . . Rookie TE Ryan Malleck was waived off injured reserve, where he was placed earlier this week . . . The Giants will keep only two quarterbacks on their roster: Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib. “I’m very comfortable with two quarterbacks on the roster,” McAdoo said. “Eli has played a lot of football. Ryan is a guy who had some ups and downs of late, but he’s a guy we have confidence in. He can put the players around him in a position to be successful and take advantage of it.”