2012 NFL Draft, New York Giants: Final Thoughts On A First-Round Running Back

Doug Martin of the Boise State Broncos runs the ball against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Bronco Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)

There is one thing, and only one thing I know for certain when it comes to what the New York Giants will do with the 32nd selection of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday night. What is that one thing? It is that Giants general manager Jerry Reese does not give a hoot about the 'Big Blue View Rules for Draft Success.' Nor, to be honest, should he.

That brings to our next 'final thoughts' discussion. Should the Giants violate my rules and take a running back with the 32nd pick? If so, which running back should it be?

ESPN analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are debating which running should be the second drafted, following Trent Richardson of Alabama. McShay takes the chalk, and echoes the popular opinion here at Big Blue View, that the second running back off the board should be Doug Martin of Boise State. [Prospect Profile] Kiper takes the somewhat surprising, at least to me, stance that LaMichael James of Oregon is the second-best back in the draft. [Prospect Profile]

McShay writes this about Martin:

Martin is similar to current 49ers back Frank Gore. They have similar body types, and although there is a little more power in Gore's game, Martin is a bit more shifty. Neither is a burner, though, and both are solid contributors on third down.

Teams will not be clamoring for running backs early in the draft and it's hard to pinpoint teams that might have interest in Martin, but I do believe he belongs among the top 35 overall prospects.

Kiper writes this in his argument for James:

James is the second-best back in the draft because he has track-star speed, is stronger between the tackles than people realize (he can easily run inside a dozen times a game) and can catch the ball, providing that Sproles-like dimension that terrifies opposing linebackers.

I think his explosiveness can provide an element that the other backs lack, and it makes him a great fit for a creative coordinator. This class isn't loaded with running backs -- it truly is Trent Richardson and the rest.

But James is going to be a touchdown-maker in the NFL; he'll provide a different kind of threat. And for my money, he's the second-best back on the board.

Valentine's View

If the Giants ignore my rules and take a running back in the first round I really would like to see that choice be Martin rather than James, who most analysts see as more of a change-of-pace back, or Virginia Tech's David Wilson. [Prospect Profile]

Martin is not the most explosive back on the board after Richardson, but he does profile as the player with the best all-around game and the guy who seems most likely to become an every-down type back in the NFL. If the Giants take a back in the first round he better be a player they think can play all three downs. And a guy who has drawn comparisons to Gore and Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens can't be a bad idea.

-- See the Position-By-Position Draft Previews at SB Nation New York

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