New York Giants News: Depth Chart As The Team Heads To Training Camp In 2012

Eli Manning
Some laughed at Manning when he said before the 2011 Season that he was an elite quarterback. After his second Super Bowl MVP, Manning has proven he’s a top five quarterback in the league. He may also be the most clutch quarterback in the entire NFL. Reuters

The New York Giants number one goal of the 2012-13 NFL season is to defend their Super Bowl Championship.

The last time the Giants attempted to defend their title, the team went a solid 12-4, but suffered a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the playoffs. 

This offseason, New York lost key Super Bowl XLVI contributors Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, Jake Ballard and Aaron Ross. They have attempted to combat these losses with a strong 2012 draft that addressed the team's biggest needs, especially at the running back and wide receiver positions. 

Since the injury bug that plagued the Super Bowl Champions last season, they'll get back sa few players that didn't get to play much in 2011. Returning off the IR and back to the Big Blue's roster are productive players like Terrell Thomas, Domenik Hixon, Will Beatty and Bruce Johnson.

Here is a preview of the 2012 New York Giants Depth Chart as they head into training camp:

Offensive Positions:

Quarterback - Eli Manning is undoubtedly the starting quarterback after winning his second Super Bowl in five seasons. Behind Manning is a reliable veteran backup and former number one overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, David Carr. 

Running Back - Continuing the duties as a starter, Ahmad Bradshaw will again be the Giants primary ball carrier. First round draft pick David Wilson will most likely backup Bradshaw, effectively replacing Brandon Jacobs. Wilson will definitely get some playing time this season and could be named starter if Bradshaw gets hurt again.  

Fullback - Henry Hynoski played well as a rookie for the Giants last season and will again find himself as the team's starting fullback. 

Left Tackle - After suffering a detached retina that ended his season, Will Beatty is poised to regain his position at starting left tackle. Rookie James Brewer and veteran Sean Locklear will replace Beatty in the case of another injury. 

Left Guard - Kevin Boothe will take over the left guard position, where David Diehl played last year. Mitch Petrus, who started a few games at left guard last season, may see time if Boothe fails to produce or suffers another injury. 

Center - David Baas had the tough task of replacing Shaun O'Hara at the center position last season, but filled the position admirably. Twenty-four-year-old Jim Cordle will serve as a backup to Baas. 

Right Guard - Another player that suffered from injuries throughout the season, Chris Snee will hopefully have a healthy 2012 campaign as the team's starting right guard. Fourth-round draft pick Brandon Mosley serves as a capable backup to Snee. 

Right Tackle - Moving from left tackle and replacing Kareem McKenzie at right tackle, David Diehl will now assume the starting role on the opposite side of the field. The Giants signed veteran Sean Locklear as a backup in case Diehl or Boothe are sidelined again in the upcoming season. 

Wide Receiver - Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are both locks as starters after a stellar 2011 season. While the two stars occupy the starting positions, there is a battle for the third and fourth spot. Former LSU standout Rueben Randle is expected to see solid time during his rookie season. The Giants also expect Ramses Barden, who is a towering 6'6, to start producing in his fourth season with the team. Domenik Hixon also returns from an injury that sidelined him for almost an entire season and is expected to make his way into the lineup. Jerrel Jernigan is another player that could be thrown in the lineup as a slot receiver. 

Tight End - Bear Pascoe will come into training camp as the starter, but will have to prove himself better than former Dallas Cowboy Martellus Bennett. Rookie Adrien Robinson could also compete for the job, brining great speed athleticism that the Giants have lacked at the tight end position. 

Defensive Positions:

Defensive End: Probably the Giants most stacked position, defensive superstar Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck will start at defensive end, while Osi Umenyiora will rotate in and keep the assault on opposing offenses constant. 

Defensive Tackle: Chris Canty had a solid 2011 season and will continue on as a starter, joined alongside by Linval Joseph. If Marvin Austin can recover fully from his injury, he has enough talent to fall into the starting lineup and provide a strong presence on the defensive line. 

Outside Linebackers: Michael Boley established himself as the team's starting weak-side linebacker and will remain as a starter. Former defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka has made a phenomenal transition to the team's starting strong-side linebacker and will also keep his job for the upcoming season. Jacquian Williams played excellent as a rookie outside linebacker and will continue to rotate in the lineup. Greg Jones could also potentially see some time in the rotation as well. 

Middle Linebacker: This is the one position on defense that is essentially up for grabs.  The two biggest suitors for the starting middle linebacker spot are New York Giant veteran Chase Blackburn and the newly acquired Keith Rivers. Blackburn will come into training camp as the starter, while Rivers must prove himself and overcome past injuries in order to grab the position. Mark Herzlich has a slim chance of becoming the starter, but will see some time as a substitute. 

Cornerback: With Terrell Thomas and Bruce Johnson returning from injury, the Giants find themselves will great depth at cornerback. Corey Webster and Thomas will fill the starting roles, while Johnson and Prince Amukamura will serve as backups. Undersized rookie Jayron Hosley could also see time against smaller wide receivers. 

Strong Safety: Kenny Phillips established himself as one of the league's most reliable strong safeties due to his strong performance last season. The departure of Deon Grant means that young players such as Tyler Sash and Stevie Brown must step up to fill in the hole Grant left. 

Free Safety: A strong veteran force in the backfield, Antrel Rolle will remain as the team's starting free safety. Although, rookie Will Hill must be ready to provide the aging Rolle with support in the case of an injury. Other than Phillips and Rolle, both safety positions lack experience and depend on young players to step up in the secondary. 

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