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Rookies formed cornerstone of Giants’ roster overhaul

When general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur became the Giants’ preeminent football decision-makers after the 2017 season, one of their first goals was to change the team’s attitude, morale, and spirit. In short, it’s culture.

The result was a roster overhaul, the scope of which was perhaps unique in franchise history. With two weeks remaining in the season, only 13 players on the active roster were also there at the same juncture last year. That was three fewer holdovers than any other team had.

Predictably – and sensibly – many of the team’s best and most valuable players did stay, including Eli Manning, Odell Beckham, Jr., and Olivier Vernon. They were bolstered by veterans who were acquired via trade, free agency or the waiver wire, including Alec Ogletree, Nate Solder, Jamon Brown, and Michael Thomas.

But the cornerstone of the restructuring was the team’s six-player 2018 draft class – running back Saquon Barkley, guard Will Hernandez, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, defensive linemen B.J. Hill and RJ McIntosh, and quarterback Kyle Lauletta. Each of them has appeared in at least one game this season. Barkley, Hernandez, and Hill have been season-long starters.

Most, if not all of them, should be contributors for many seasons.

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