High Expectations for Paul Perkins: Moving up the Depth Chart

The NY Giants have always had good luck drafting running backs in the later rounds.

  • Brandon Jacobs – 4th Round
  • Ahmad Bradshaw – 7th Round
  • Andre Brown – 4th Round

UCLA’s Paul Perkins (5th round) is the latest running back to be drafted by the Giants after a stellar college career.  Perkins joins Andre Williams in the category of prolific college runners, from a big school drafted at the back half of the draft.

Perkins style of running is very different from the running backs currently on the roster and his unique slasher style could move him up the depth chart with a good showing in training camp this summer.

While Perkins drops in at 5′ 10, 208 pounds and has a frame very similar to Shane Vereen, the two do not share the same set of skills and styles.  Vereen is a compact, patient runner who has a burst after the hand off.  When needed he can unload behind his shoulder pads on a cornerback or safety.  He also excels in the passing game, game changer with the ball in hands.  In 2016 Vereen needs more touches.

Like Vereen, Perkins is not a burner, but makes people miss, especially between the tackles with his slashing style.  He has great field vision and the knack for bouncing the play outside with a longer stride.   Perkins has a signature horizontal jump-cut that helps him disappear in traffic.  While his hands are good, he does not excel in the blocking scheme and will not be asked to protect Eli Manning on passing downs.

Looking at the big picture for Paul Perkins and the New York Giants backfield, Perkins should be aiming for that “change of pace” back that was once occupied by Ahmad Bradshaw in 2007-2008.   Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward led the way, with the rookie from Marshall grabbing a handful of well deserved carries, earning them the nickname, Earth (Jacobs), Wind (Ward) and Fire (Bradshaw).

Perkins will add a few pounds of muscle to his frame in the NY Giants new conditioning program and could settle in at 215 lbs.   His immediate goal is to pass Andre Williams and Orleans Darkwa on the depth chart.