The New York Giants have begun bringing NFL prospects into their facilities for their top-30 visits just three weeks before the draft. Interestingly, they brought in a slew of running backs despite having Saquon Barkley on the roster. Could that suggest a potential trade, clearing $7.2 million in guaranteed salary space? Possibly.
However, you can make the argument that selecting a mid-round running back is always beneficial, especially if you have a strong scheme with solid run blocking.
General manager Joe Schoen helped the Buffalo Bills select Devin Singletary and Zack Moss in the mid-rounds. Schoen could execute a similar strategy with the Giants, despite former GM Dave Gettleman taking Gary Brightwell in the 6th round last year.
Both Georgia running back James Cook and Iowa State workhorse Breece Hall both enjoyed tours of the Giants’ facilities. While the two backs boast completely different styles, either would be phenomenal selections.
Two running backs the New York Giants should target in the mid-rounds:
1.) James Cook – Georgia
Cook is an intriguing option in the third round at 5’11” and 199 pounds. With Georgia, Cook made 15 appearances this past season, tallying 728 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. He also added 284 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. Altogether, he recorded over 1000 all-purpose yards and showcased why he could be a steal for the Giants in the third round.
Cook offers good speed with a 4.42 40-yard dash and shifty capabilities, similar to his brother Dalvin Cook with the Minnesota Vikings.
Throw the ball to James Cook and good things happen pic.twitter.com/4EyqGOfEit
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) April 5, 2022
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein projects Cook as a change-of-pace runner with vision and flow, but he lacks the functional strength to be a workhorse back in a power scheme. Cook can provide that and more if the Giants are looking for a phenomenal complement to Barkley this upcoming season. His intuitive style and agility between the tackles allow him to pick up extra yards and hide behind offensive linemen. While he’s not going to break any big-time tackles in the hole with his power, he does a great job finding lanes to run through and squeezing out extra yards with his shifty-ness.
Cook also presents a fantastic receiver out of the backfield, something Daniel Jones could utilize when under pressure.
2.) Breece Hall – Iowa State
Iowa State ball-cow Breece Hall offers something completely different compared to Cook. At 5’11” and 217 pounds, Hall ran a 4.39 40-yard dash and is one of the most accomplished RBs in the draft.
Zierlein compares Hall to former NFL RB Matt Forte with his style, providing great size, power, and patience behind the line of scrimmage. Breece isn’t going to juke a defender out of his shoes, but he runs with intelligence and a high football IQ. He’s best utilized in a scheme that allows him to cut vertically and choose his holes prematurely. Behind the right offensive line and a good scheme, Hall has the potential to be an awesome pick on Day 2, especially proving he can handle a big workload and remain healthy.
My guy for the 2022 NFL Draft: Breece Hall!
Past my guys:
— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) April 3, 2022
Depending on what the Giants are looking for, either of these running backs would present great value for 2022 and beyond. Breece has more of a starting running back feel while Cook is a great complement to a starter, but the value is there for both players, and the Giants should be able to maximize their talents with a coaching staff focused on offensive creativity.