New York Football Giants: Running Back Preview


GMEN HQ continues its positional breakdown series with news, notes and analysis on a six-pack of RB’s.

If it was easy to predict which players would make a team, coaches wouldn’t spend hours in meetings discussing roster cuts. Teams would pick 53 players and a practice squad and immediately begin preparations for the season.

The Giants currently have six running backs on their depth chart. We don’t know how many they will keep for the season, but we can probably assume that they won’t be keeping all of them. By breaking down key factors that affect a back’s on-field performance — skill level, professional experience, running style and versatility — we can make a profoundly educated guess on which men you’ll see toting the ball on the field in 2014.

1. player. 31. <p><strong><a href=. RB. Liberty University. Rashad Jennings

Credit: NFL Game Rewind (Week 11, 2014)

<p>Other than Jennings, rookie Andre Williams has the safest roster spot in the backfield. He was drafted early enough to suggest that the Giants’ front office has faith in his talent, and his college production shows that he has the durability and power to survive training camp. Williams, despite the fact that he has extremely limited experience (or even competency) as a pass catcher, has the natural runner instincts to succeed in the NFL — patience, see the hole, hit the hole with fury.</p><p>Behind a competent offensive line, Williams will churn out yards upon yards upon yards. In 2013, he rushed for 2177 yards and 18 touchdowns on 355 carries at Boston College. Williams also won the 2013 <strong><a href=. RB. Boston College. Andre Williams. 2. player. 31

Credit: HFX HD on YouTube

Virginia Tech. David Wilson. 3. player. 31. <p>This would be the 1-2-3 punch that the Giants most desire: Jennings as an all-purpose back, Williams as a power between-the-tackles runner, and <strong><a href=. RB

4. player. 31. <p><strong><a href=. RB. University of Arkansas. Peyton Hillis

Peyton Hillis

against the Minnesota Vikings on October 21, 2013

Michael Cox. 5. player. 31. <p>It’s hard to provide deep analysis on Cox’s performance because his opportunities were limited. In the few moments where Cox played in games, he showed mixed decision making on returns with occasional glimpses of powerful, decisive running on offense. Cox has the talent to succeed as a developmental RB, but could potentially lose a roster spot considering the other experience/depth of bodies at the position.</p><p>The Giants brought in several free agents last year rather than providing Cox with more chances in NFL games. Their reluctance to rely on him does not paint the best picture of his future with the team. In 2013, he rushed for 43 yards on 22 carries in addition to his return duties.</p>. RB. UMass

Michael Cox

against the Detroit Lions on December 22, 2013

player. 31. <p>Gaskins entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 2013, and the Giants signed him to a future/reserve contract before the end of last season. Reports from those attending Organized Training Activities are that Gaskins has participated in kickoff return drills as well as running back drills with the 3<sup>rd</sup> team. Considering that his body type is closer to a FB/RB than a returner, it’s likely these drills were experimental in nature.</p><p>There are sparsely available reports suggest that Gaskins may challenge Cox for a roster spot. In 2013, Gaskins did not log any rushing attempts with the Bills. However, in 2012 at Richmond College, he scored 13 rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns.</p>. RB. Richmond College. Kendall Gaskins. 6

Kendall Gaskins at the the University of Richmond Spiders.

Credit: Youtube user gk144