After the departure of veteran leader Brandon Jacobs, the New York Giants are in the market for a running back. They have not spent a first-round selection on a running back since 2002 when Ron Dayne was selected in the 1st round.
The free agent market seems like a secondary option for the team at this point, with players like Joseph Addai, Justin Forsett, and even Brandon Jacobs still floating around, the Giants seem content on seeing how the draft plays out and then considering options on the free agent market in the event that nothing falls their way. As such, there are a number of options Big Blue can explore in the middle rounds, where they are expected to look.
Bernard Pierce, Temple:
There is an interesting connection going on here which is worth examining when one considers the Giants' options at running back. Newly hired assistant offensive line coach Matt Rhule coached the offensive line at Temple where he gained intimate knowledge of Pierce and his running style. Despite maybe not having the most elite competition, it is hard not to be impressed with Pierce and what he accomplished at Temple.
In three years at Temple he rushed for 3,570 yards and 53 touchdowns. He average nearly five and a half yards per carry and managed a staggering 27 touchdowns in his most recent season with the Owls.
This could be a player the Giants are looking to swoop in on during a middle or late round who represents real value at the position.
Lamar Miller, Miami:
Miller is a bona-fide stud at the running back position and may prove to be the steal of this years NFL Draft if he gets on the right team in a scheme that plays to his strengths. He is a one-cut runner who can find a lane and hit daylight extremely well.
Outside of Trent Richardson of Alabama, maybe no one works better in the open field than Miller does. He has the ability to make people look absolutely foolish in the open field.
However, he may not reach the final pick of the 2nd round. The man is certainly worth considering in the event that the Giants trade out of the 1st round and back into the 2nd.
Robert Turbin, Utah State:
A very interesting prospect in this years draft, Robert Turbin out of Utah State, has emerged in people's minds as a sleeper candidate after a solid combine.
As if his 2011 season (1,517 yards, 19 TDs, and 6.1 ypc) was not enough to prove that his ACL was 100% after tearing it in 2010, he did by performing well in every positional drill and showing great mobility in the better part of the running back drills.
At 5'10" 222, he could be be exactly the type of physical runner the Giants are looking for behind Ahmad Bradshaw.
Da'Rel Scott figures to be in the teams plans as more of a finesse and home run hitting type guy, but Turbin could bring back the balance to the running attack that Jacobs presented for some time as a Giant.
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