Countdown to the Draft: Should the Giants draft a RB?
By Michael Stewart
The Giants running game was near the bottom of the league in 2015; which was a combination of an OL or lack of it and the talent level of their RB’s. The Giants plan in 2015 was to employ a three RB system with Jennings, Vereen and Williams as their candidates.
Unfortunately; that experience didn’t work out as well as the Giants have liked. So the million dollar question is “should the Giants draft a RB? The problem I see here is that the Giants need to fill many holes and OL has a couple of holes with the release of Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz. Assuming Reese addresses the OL needs either via draft or through FA; the use of a 3-down RB would make sense.
Jennings showed flashes, but has a history of not being durable. Vereen is not built to be a 3 down RB, but is excellent as a 3rd down back or in special offensive formations. Williams had a poor sophomore season and could rebound next season, so I expect the Giants will still give him a chance.
In this 6 part series featuring RB prospects in the 2016 draft; I will feature 3 RB’s per article who could be available each round (1-6).
- Ezekiel Elliott (RB) Ohio State 6’0/225 projected 1st round selection: Elliott has the ideal size to go along with quick feet and good balance. Elliott’s running style is best when he runs between the tackles with above average speed to create separation once he gets in the secondary. The last time GM Jerry Reese drafted a RB in the 1st round was in 2012 (David Wilson/#32); no fault on the Giants, didn’t work out too well. I can’t see the Giants investing on a RB in round 1, but stranger things have happened.
- Derrick Henry (RB) Alabama 6’2/242 projected 2nd round selection: Winning the Heisman Trophy, Doak Walker, Maxwell Awards, All American Honors and National Championship is a great way to close out your college career. Henry is a bull and his ability to break tackles and average 5.8 yards per carry. With all of his achievements at the college level, Henry’s projection as a 2nd rounder is mostly due to the history of Heisman Trophy winners and Henry’s lack of speed at the pro level. Many scouts feel that Henry will not be able to elude or break tackles as easily at the pro level like he did in college. Regardless; Henry could slip into the late 1st round with a solid combine.
- Alex Collins (RB) Arkansas 5’11/218 projected 2nd round selection: Solidly built and low to the ground. Great burst into the holes without hesitation or delays. Has an endless motor and won’t avoid contact; with a great ability to see the play developing in front of him. One of only 3 RB in SEC history to achieve 3 straight seasons with 1,000 yards (Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden). Collins also possesses the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield; which always a plus at the pro level. Any NFL team looking for a reliable back with great work ethic and a team player mentality; look no further than Alex Collins.
Final Thoughts: GM Jerry Reese could look at free agency for his RB as there are a few candidates such as: Ronnie Hillman, Bernard Pierce and Doug Martin that should fit into the Giants plans.
However; if Reese decides that the draft is the best way to go to acquire a RB; then Elliott, Henry and Collins is a good place to start. History will tell you that Reese doesn’t draft RB’s early; which makes sense; but stranger things have happened. If I was a betting man and Reese does look towards the draft for a RB; anywhere between rounds 3-6 would make the most sense.