It’s been a long time since the New York Giants have had a single feature back, and this year looks to be no different. With the trend of running back by committee taking over the NFL, the Giants were looking to David Wilson and Andre Brown to carry the load.
This offseason, the Giants showed that they have a lot of faith in second-year running back Wilson by letting go of the long time ball-of-fire, Ahmad Bradshaw. This came as a shock to a lot of Giants fans, but the Giants saw something in Wilson that stood out. With blazing speed in open space and not being afraid to tango with the big guys in the middle, the Giants are looking for Wilson to have a big year this season.
Due to Wilson’s lack of pass-blocking ability, the Giants were planning on leaning on the abilities of journeyman Brown. With the most recent injury to Brown in last night’s preseason finale against the New England Patriots, the Giants now must shift there focus to either rookie running back Michael Cox or second-year back Da’Rel Scott. Both backs were seventh-round picks for the Giants in consecutive years.
Cox is a rookie out of the University of Massachusetts. He had a breakout season last year after transferring there from the University of Michigan. At U-mass last year, he recorded 715 yards on 198 carries while scoring five times. He also hauled in 13 catches for 63 yards. By drafting him, the Giants are looking to catch lightning in a bottle like they did with Victor Cruz.
Scott was drafted in 2011 out of Maryland. In his senior season, he recorded 708 yards on 122 carries while scoring five touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 170 yards and three more scores.
Both backs seem like they would be able to fill the void. However, the rumors started flowing not soon after the injury to Brown that the Giants may look to the free agent pool for another running back.
The names that seem to be popping up most commonly are: Willis Mcgahee, Michael Turner, and former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.
The player that seems most suited to come in and fit into the Giants’ scheme is Mcgahee. His power running style fits right in with what coach Tom Coughlin likes to do. His season with the Denver Broncos was cut short due to injury, but not before he racked up 731 yards and four touchdowns on 167 carries.
Turner is another option the Giants could turn to. Most recently, Turner was with the Atlanta Falcons, where he put a ton of mileage on his legs. For example: last season, he ran the ball 200 times for 800 yards and 10 scores. Turner was the longtime feature back while with the Falcons and was used heavily. He also has a propensity to fumble, which coach Coughlin has shown great disdain for.
Jacobs is yet another option for the Giants. Yes, he has an advantage because he know the offense. However, for a back his size at 6-foot-4 and 250-plus pounds, he has a tendency to dance around and not run hard to the hole. He has proven that he is not very efficient when it comes to short yardage – not to mention that the San Francisco 49ers essentially sent him home halfway through last season.
There are plenty of options out there for the Giants. Other running backs that are available for the Giants to acquire right now are: Tim Hightower, Cedric Benson, Beanie Wells and Kevin Smith, They could also wait for the cut deadline on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. EST and see who becomes available.
No matter what their move is, they desperately need help in the backfield.