The New York Giants will have a crowded running back meeting for sure as training camp is about to get underway. The established figures in the running back by committee format are Shane Vereen, Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. The Giants also have Akeem Hunt and Orleans Darkwa fighting for a spot on the team.
I think the first thing to do here in our evaluation is to talk about what we know. We know that Shane Vereen is a good receiver out of the backfield as evidenced by his 99 receptions in the past two seasons with the New England Patriots. We understand that Vereen has never really had the opportunity to be a featured back, he had a role and he filled it.
Then there is Rashad Jennings who will try to remain the number one option in the Giants backfield. Jennings is an adequate rusher who gives you some ability in the passing game as well. Jennings isn’t the accomplished receiving element that Vereen is though. Jennings has never rushed for over 1,000 yards and has battled injuries throughout his career.
Andre Williams is the other known commodity for the Giants running back position. Williams is a downhill runner who showed bursts of promise last season but couldn’t string good games together. Williams is limited as a receiver out of the backfield, and it is a big problem in the west coast approach of Ben McAdoo.
The Giants when you really look at it don’t have anything established at the running back position. They have a lot of options and each of the candidates is hoping this is their time to be a star. It looks more and more like it will be Vereen that will take the reigns as the Giants leading running back. Vereen gives them the most versatility and fits the offense like a glove.
Rashad Jennings is a running back that you simply cannot depend on. He’ll get what you block for him but he will seldom make something out of nothing. He isn’t a big play waiting to happen. He is adequate and therefore replaceable if he gets banged up again. Ultimatley he is a complementary player who can contribute.
This is where a guy like Akeem Hunt or Orleans Darkwa, two players who are hoping to make the active roster, have a chance. It may not be in week one but one of these players would be brought up from the practice squad if Jennings gets hurt.
Both Hunt and Darkwa have the speed and the ability to help as a receiving running back that make them very intriguing players to keep an eye on. Hunt especially has the potential to be a Percy Harvin like player. If he has a big preseason then he may shake everything up in the Giants backfield.
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