New York Giants 7 Round Mock Draft: Fleecing division rivals with trades, adding starters

Charles Cross #67 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Charles Cross #67 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
South Dakota State’s Pierre Strong, Jr. runs up the field during the FCS semifinals against Delaware on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at Dana J. Dykhouse stadium in Brookings. Strong proved too intriguing to pass up on in the fifth round of this New York Giants mock draft. /

Round 5, Pick No. 147: Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State

You generally see three types of running backs available in the mid-rounds of the NFL draft.

First, players who dropped due to injury. That’s risky in general, but especially at running back.

Second, you see players who are a bit too slow for the position in the NFL. While that can be okay if they’re projecting as short-yardage backs and power rushers, I think that it’s plenty easy to acquire players like that later in their careers on one-year deals.

The third kind are speedy running backs, often from smaller schools.

They don’t all work out in the NFL, but in terms of risk versus reward and cost-efficiency, they’re ideal in the fourth through sixth rounds in my opinion.

Pierre Strong Jr. fits that mold.

Strong ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash, has 10 career rushing touchdowns of more than 50 yards, and has excellent vision. He’s not huge at 5’11, 207, but he should have enough size for the NFL as a change of pace back or maybe even a featured back in the future.

Obviously, if you’re drafting someone from a small school who only played FCS ball, you want them to have really produced at that level. Strong certainly did that, racking up 1,673 yards on only 240 attempts last year for a whopping 7.0 yards per attempt. He ran for 5.3 yards per carry in 2020, 7.1 in 2019, and 9.5 in 2018 – going over a thousand yards in 2018, 2019, and 2021. He also racked up 18 touchdowns last year.

I’d say that merits a fifth-round pick and there’s at least a chance that Strong turns into something special.