PFF ranks Giants’ new running back near the bottom of league’s starters

Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) (New York Giants)
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants lost star running back Saquon Barkley in free agency this offseason after refusing to reach his asking price. They signed Devin Singletary as a response to fill the void in their backfield and give the lineup a capable starter at the position. However, Pro Football Focus does not seem as confident that the Giants’ new running back is a high-quality starter heading into the 2024 season.

Devin Singletary lands at No. 30 in PFF’s running back rankings

Jan 6, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) celebrates after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) celebrates after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants seem confident that Singletary can step into the lineup and replicate a fair amount of Barkley’s production this season as he leads a committee in their backfield. PFF’s Thomas Valentine, however, does not seem as confident:

“Singletary was intended to be the backup for Dameon Pierce, but a fine run of performances, as well as disappointing ones from Pierce, saw the former Bills running back jump up the depth chart and not look back,” PFF’s Valentine wrote. “Singletary carried the ball a career-high 216 times for 898 yards and four touchdowns while earning a 70.8 grade.

“His 23 explosive runs tied for 13th in the NFL, and he was top 20 in yards after contact, too. He ultimately will be the starting running back for the Giants in 2024.”

Singletary is an explosive player who has found success in his NFL career. Playing in a lead role last season, he racked up 1,091 total yards from scrimmage — his third consecutive season topping 1,000 scrimmage yards.

The Giants will get tremendous value out of Singletary’s contract

Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (New York Giants)(26) scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter in a 2024 AFC wild card game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back Devin Singletary (26) scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter in a 2024 AFC wild card game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Letting Barkley walk in free agency was a controversial decision for the Giants, but it was one made with financial logistics in mind. Rather than paying Barkley in excess of $12 million per season, they will be paying Singletary $5.5 million per season for three years.

Coming in at a much cheaper price point, Singletary will prove to be a tremendous value signing for Big Blue. He averaged 2.88 yards after contact per attempt, with 36 missed tackles forced and 44 first downs in 2023. These numbers compare nicely to Barkley, who averaged, 2.91 yards after contact per attempt while forcing 31 missed tackles and securing 51 first downs.

Singletary will lead the committee in the Giants’ backfield that features other young talents who have yet to reach their potential. This Giants running back room could be far better than expected in 2024, which should result in Singletary rising up the league’s rankings.

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