#2 – RB Orleans Darkwa
Giants second-year running back Paul Perkins was expected to lead New York’s rushing attack in 2017, but after four poor outings to start the season, New York’s coaching staff finally made a change.
The G-Men opted to start Darkwa in Week 5 and quickly realized what the undrafted running back could bring to an offense. Despite running behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines, the fourth-year running back out of Tulane posted multiple career-highs.
In his first four starts in 2017, Darkwa surpassed 65 rushing yards three times, and drew praise from running backs coach Craig Johnson midseason, via New York’s team website.
"“He epitomizes what it is to be a New York Giant. He’s had to fight his way. He’s been given nothing. He’s earned his way on this team. He’s earned his way to get the time he’s done and he has, again, had a lot of success and he’s stacked it”"
The 5-foot-11, 219-pound tailback was instrumental in all three of New York’s wins in 2017, amassing 345 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the wins. Darkwa earned a $200,000 bonus with his play in the team’s regular season finale, surpassing 750 rushing yards while averaging at least four yards per carry on the year.
He scored five of New York’s six rushing touchdowns. Not many Giants fans thought before the season Darkwa would outplay Perkins, Wayne Gallman, and Shane Vereen. But that’s exactly what he did.