By Michael J Basile, @MdoublejB
Big blue used the first of their round 6 picks (196th overall) on running back Gary Brightwell of Arizona. Brightwell is from Chester, PA, is 5’11” and 218 lbs. Let’s dive right in.
WHAT I LIKE:
5.3 yards per carry during college; Played 1 year as a starter (2020) so has an opportunity to develop and has fresh legs – Good short area burst – Solid frame/size and athletic ability
AREAS FOR CONCERN:
“Below-average vision diminishes his ability to get the most out of runs”Lance Zierlein – NFL.com
Projects to be a backup, nothing more – Doesn’t lower his pad level when bracing for defenders. This is a developmental pick that can contribute to special teams immediately. The Giants did what they should have with a 6th round pick. The idea most of the time in the later rounds is to add a player who has work to do but the raw tools to improve. With Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker ahead of him on the depth chart, Brightwell has an opportunity to sit and learn from seasoned professionals.
At Arizona Brightwell actually switched to wide out early on before settling at running back. This shows versatility which Joe Judge loves. Combine that with Brightell’s upside and Judge is betting that his coaching staff will be able to fix some of the flaws. What the young back struggled with can be corrected. Some of those issues that can be cleaned up include ball security, lack of vision, and using better leverage when taking on contact.
Barring injury, look for him to get limited snaps.