State of the Giants: Running Back

The Giants Beat takes a look at the State of the Giants, with a position by position breakdown leading up to training camp.

The New York Giants have compiled a group of solid running backs heading into training camp. After experimenting with their running backs last year, the Giants finally found out that having a lead back works much better in Ben McAdoo’s system rather than having a running back by committee.


Projected Depth Chart:


RB1: Rashad Jennings

RB2/3rd Down Back: Shane Vereen

RB3: Paul Perkins

RB4: Andre Williams

RB5/ST: Bobby Rainey


            Jennings proved he has it in him to be the lead back for the Giants. After week 13 of last season, the Giants gave Jennings nearly 20 carries per game in which he racked up 108 yards per game. Jennings has had a history in which he is plagued with injuries, but if he can manage to stay healthy, Jennings should be the number one running back for the 2016 regular season.

            Vereen is a player in which the Giants know exactly what they are getting. Vereen is a premier third down back, excelling in the passing game. Vereen was very beneficial to the Giants last season, and unless something unordinary occurs, he will be the Giants third down back this season.

            In the fifth round of the NFL draft, the Giants selected running back Perkins out ofUCLA, whom many expected to be picked much earlier in the draft. Perkins is a player to watch heading into training camp. Due to college rules, Perkins was unable to participate in most of organized team activities and minicamp. If Jennings struggles or gets hurt, look for Perkins to compete for the starting role.

            Lastly, and much to most Giants’ fans displeasure, Williams will be the fourth running back on the Giants’ depth chart. Though Williams has struggled the past two years, McAdoo has expressed his commitment to Williams throughout the offseason. Williams will have a minimal role in 2016, but the fact that he will be on the team will come as a surprise to many.

            This leaves Rainey, who will participate more on special teams than in the running game. Rainey is a very small back who can provide speed to the Giants special teams unit. Rainey should have little to no impact on the passing game, but due to his past success on special teams, he will remain with the team for the 2016 season as a special teams player.

            With the Giants depth chart filled up at running back, that leaves Orleans Darkwa and Marshaun Coprich. Though Darkwa showed flashes of success last season, he did not do enough to succeed any of the players listed above, and he will likely be released from the team. As for Coprich, the Giants may decide to keep him around on the practice squad, but chances are he will be released like Darkwa.

            With this solid group of running backs, the chances are slim that the Giants look to add a running back to the team via free agency. Though it seems Jennings is the starter, it is very much in the air as to who will start at running back for the Giants this season.


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