The New York Giants are facing an intriguing situation with Saquon Barkley, as he has not yet signed the $10.1 million franchise tag. Barkley intends to hold out for a significantly larger deal that includes guaranteed money spanning multiple seasons. However, Giants General Manager Joe Schoen is not eager to allocate considerable salary space to the running back position.
It appears that the Giants may adopt a running back-by-committee strategy in the future following Saquon Barkley’s eventual departure. Nevertheless, a report on Thursday morning, prior to the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, suggests that the Giants are targeting a mid-round running back.
Giants appear to be targeting mid-round RB. Likelihood Day 2 or early Day 3. Guess higher is possible depending on board. Some options (Tank Bigsby, Keondre Miller, Chase Brown, Tyjae Spears). Remember, Saquon Barkley was tagged. He’s likely to play on one-year deal.Per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.
Four running backs the Giants could target:
Bigsby, mentioned in Raanan’s tweet, is an Auburn product who amassed 1,150 yards from scrimmage last year, scoring a total of 10 touchdowns. He rushed for 970 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. Bigsby has the potential to evolve into a starter over time; however, his athleticism score is relatively low, placing him in the 67th percentile. Boasting an NFL-ready frame and exceptional agility, Bigsby occasionally falters by bouncing the ball outside and failing to choose the appropriate lanes. His limitations as a receiver also hinder him in certain aspects, but his developmental potential is undeniably present.
TCU running back Kendre Miller is another intriguing prospect, projected as an “average backup or special-teamer.” As a potential fourth-round selection, he possesses the size and production to meet most requirements but falls short in terms of pace and explosiveness between the tackles. He might fulfill a grinder role and serve as a short-yardage situational back due to his above-average size, indicating that his upside could be limited.
The Giants are also considering Illinois running back Chase Brown, who amassed 1,643 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He added 240 receiving yards and three scores, demonstrating value in the passing game. With the potential to grow into a starting role, Brown is an intriguing running back who can manage a high-volume workload and boasts outstanding stamina. Despite having plenty of tread on his tires, Brown’s main drawbacks are his ball security issues and occasional lack of power.
Nonetheless, he is adept at wearing down defenses and generating yards with his elusive style.
One of my favorite mid-round running backs in this draft class is Tyjae Spears. Spears, a 5’10”, 190-pound running back from Tulane, amassed 1,581 rushing yards last year, averaging 6.9 yards per attempt and scoring 19 touchdowns on the ground.
In total, he recorded 21 touchdowns with 1,837 yards from scrimmage, demonstrating remarkable production. Spears could adopt a change-of-pace style at the next level while possessing good bend and solid vision. His elusiveness at the second level is notable, and his low center of gravity makes him difficult to tackle. If he can leverage his patience and develop his vision, his running style suggests that he could become a productive player in the NFL.