Will New York Giants' Paul Perkins Make the Jump From Good to Great in 2017?

Paul Perkins enjoyed limited success in a reserve role at running back in 2016. He showed serious potential, but can he take hold of the reigns in 2017?

New York Giants running back Paul Perkins is the man at the helm in 2017, and he’s primed to make a huge developmental jump.

The California Golden Bears product was a 5th round pick, and was thrusted into a secondary role behind former Giants running back Rashad Jennings.

After Jennings went down with an injury, it became imminent that Perkins would either fly, or flop into a rather deep pool of NFL failures.

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Thankfully, it was the first option, as he showed insane agility and lateral movement in the open field.

Of course, it is well too soon to tell if he can be a consistent threat down the road, but so far so good for the young Perk!

Despite not being the fastest running back out there, his quickness makes him a threat nonetheless.

He won’t be barreling over any opposing tacklers Brandon Jacobs style, but he will be side stepping them and looking back at their sprawled-out body on the floor.

Perkins managed 456 yards on 112 attempts in 2016, resulting in 4.1 yards per attempt, according to pro-football-reference.com

Averaging 4.1 yards per carry is stellar for a young starlet behind a lackluster offensive line.

But the signing of former Charger D.J. Fluker and ex-Viking Rhett Ellison, will help create some bigger holes for Perkins to run through.

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As a second-year running back, the expectations cannot and should not be high, especially for a fifth-round selection.

But after showing what he’s capable of, there’s no doubt he can develop into a workhorse back.

Currently, the Giants have several players on the RB depth chart, including 2017 third-rounder Wayne Gallman, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, and Shaugn Draughn.

The consensus is that coach Ben McAdoo likes his backs on the smaller side, with more versatility and dynamic play styles.

The primary back will be Perkins who can also play out of the backfield, but with Vereen on the roster it’s likely he will play an early-down role to start off the season.

Ultimately, it will come down to blocking and if Perkins can take advantage of an “upgraded” offensive line, he will have a great season.

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