by Spiro Kasabian @NYspawtsguy_spi
The New York Giants went out and got their man early in Free Agency when they signed Devontae Booker. The move left a lot of Giant fans scratching their heads. Why would Dave Gettleman go out and spend money on a backup Running Back so quickly? The adage “You can find Running Backs anywhere” was brought up all over again (2018 NFL Draft anyone)? This time, I kind of agreed with that crowd.
There are attributes that Gettleman, Joe Judge, and Jason Garrett coveted in Devontae Booker. They felt that Booker could do things that Wayne Gallman could not. That was made clear with how quickly the Giants signed Booker, which all but sealed Gallman’s fate of playing elsewhere in ’21. If nothing else, The Giants showed conviction in their signing of Booker. So, I give them kudos for making sure they got the guy they wanted.
The Giants have mentioned several times now that they are going to ease Saquon Barkley back from his rough knee injury. That puts a lot more emphasis on having a solid RB2 to carry the load, especially earlier in the season. When you dig into Booker’s tape, you can see why the Giants like the guy so much.
What Booker Brings to The Offense
- Rarely goes down on first contact
- Good vision
- Finds the hole and explodes through it
- Had a lot of big plays in the few opportunities that he had
- Speed to get around the edge
- Can run through you or run around you; Hard runner
- Excels in Pass Blocking
- Solid Red Zone/Goal Line back
Booker only had 110 (93 carries) touches last year, but he made the most out of them, especially earlier in the season. He had several explosive plays (15+ yard gain).
- 15-yard carry week 1
- 23-yard carry week 3
- 43-yard carry week 5
- 17-yard catch week 8
- 15-yard carry; 23-yard carry for TD week 9
- 23-yard carry for TD in Week 10
Mr. Glass-Half-Full’s Take:
I will always question the contract and how early Booker was offered it, but I liked the player from the start. Booker brings a wide range of talent to the RB2 spot and offers a lot more than Gallman did overall. With Barkley’s carries likely to be limited, at least to start the season, Booker is an important piece that will be counted on to carry the load at several points throughout the year.
Being that Barkley has had trouble staying on the field the past two years, Judge clearly was focused on getting a proven NFL veteran that can handle a big workload if called upon. Looking forward to Booker contributing to the Giant offense in 2021.