The New York Giants have parted ways with Ahmad Bradshaw and look determined to give over the running back duties to last year’s first round pick David Wilson and veteran Andre Brown who is coming off of a career year. Ryan Torain and Da’Rel Scott figure to fight for touches as the third down back. However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants address the position late in the 2013 NFL Draft and one target could be Notre Dame running back/wide receiver Theo Riddick.
Riddick is a versatile player who is very adept at catching the football, something the Giants could use in a running back. At 5-11, 200 pounds, Riddick doesn’t have feature back size for the next level. However, Riddick can be an effective third-down back at the next level and has the ability to line up almost anywhere on the field.
Riddick’s strength might be in the passing game. He lacks elite breakaway speed and won’t break big runs in the NFL. However, Riddick isn’t afraid to go over the middle, can make plays in traffic, and can be physical when needed. He also has a knack for making clutch plays and will try to get that extra yard for the first down. More importantly, at least as far as the Giants are concerned is Riddick can block in pass protection packages.
Last season, David Wilson had a lot of trouble getting on the field because he was unreliable in pass protection more than the Giants were afraid of him fumbling. He did show improvement in those areas as the season wore on but Wilson looks like he will be asked to run the football a lot more this season and won’t be asked to pass block as much, if at all. Adding a player with Riddick’s versatility would give the Giants offense a weapon either in the backfield or if he lines up as a wide receiver in short-yardage situations. Perhaps more importantly, in Riddick they would have a player who will relish any role, even if it is just protecting quarterback Eli Manning’s back in passing situations or running out into the flat as a check-down option.
Riddick’s speed, while not elite, is good enough for him to cause match-up problems with most linebackers and some safeties at the next level. If the Giants are looking for insurance in case Andre Brown bolts for free agency next season or has trouble staying healthy this year they could do worse than Riddick who could become a reliable third-down back in the NFL, something the Giants need moving forward.