Don’t let the existence of Saquon Barkley on the New York Giants roster fool you, extending him beyond the 2022 season is improbable. In fact, Barkley could be traded this off-season, saving the team $7.2 million in fully guaranteed money.
However, whether Barkley is on the roster or not, that shouldn’t deter the Giants from taking a running back in the 2022 NFL draft. There are several quality players who could fit the bill depending on how Brian Daboll and new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka construct the new scheme.
Based on how the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs deploy their offense, having multiple running backs who serve specific roles seems likely, so let’s take a look at a few backs who could ultimately be targets for the Giants in the upcoming draft.
Three mid-round RBs, the New York Giants, could target in the draft:
1.) Georgia: James Cook
The brother of Dalvin Cook shares phenomenal agility and lateral quickness with his older brother, who currently features in the NFL as a part of the Minnesota Vikings franchise.
On Wednesday, Cook hosted his Pro Day with Georgia, showcasing fantastic receiving abilities and good place speed at the running back position. The senior RB recorded 728 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns last year. Through the air, he tallied 284 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Cook seems to be a traditional scat-back in the NFL that has a bit of underrated power that may translate. However, his phenomenal speed and ability to swing in motion behind the line of scrimmage make him extremely dangerous for opposing defenses. The idea of having Kadarius Toney and Cook on the field simultaneously with their speed and agility could be electrifying for the Giants’ offense. It’s worth mentioning GM Joe Schoen was in attendance at Georgia’s Pro Day with a focus on Cook
2.) Iowa State: Breece Hall
There might not be a more accomplished running back in college football as Iowa State standout Breece Hall. At 6’1″ and 220 pounds, Hall ranked 10th in Heisman voting this past season with 1472 yards on the ground and 20 touchdowns. He also recorded 302 receiving yards and three scores through the air.
Hall was the bell-cow for Iowa State‘s offense, showcasing great patience behind the line of scrimmage and burst at the second level. He’s more than capable of shedding tacklers and making defenders miss in the open field, which contributes toward his hopeful production at the next level.
Hall is best used in a zone scheme that attacks with one cut. Looking at Saquon Barkley, he does a bit too much dancing in the backfield trying to find open lanes, displaying hesitancy in his game. When Hall pics a lane, he commits fully but is able to maneuver linebackers at the second level and escape through alternative routes at the same time.
If the Giants haven’t selected a running back by the third round, Hall might be home-run.
3.) Michigan: Hassan Haskins
If the Giants are looking for a true bruiser, 6’1″, 220 pound Hassan Haskins out of Michigan might be a match made in heaven. Over 270 rushing attempts this past year during his senior season, Haskins tallied 1327 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He only added 131 receiving yards, but he is a capable back who can serve a specific purpose.
Haskins has the build of an NFL back and runs hard, making him tough to bring down. It was nice to see that Haskins excel during his lone season as the RB1 with Michigan, but he has solid upside that could be uncovered with productive coaching at the next level.
The Michigan stand-out will likely be the third off the board of the trio listed, but that doesn’t make him any less capable.