[Remember to check the '2010 NFL Draft' section for all stories relating to the draft.]
As we continue our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile series let's look at a player who could fill a very specific role for our New York Giants.
Stanford running back Toby Gerhart.
This is a player who probably won't be a star at the NFL level. He does not possess the speed or shiftiness for that. But, he does possess power, blocking ability, good size and good hands. He could be a very useful player in the right situation.
Let's take a closer look.
Toby Gerhart Scouting Reports
From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.
Considering his upright running style and his disadvantage off the bat when it comes to NFL athleticism, teams will approach the All American’s draft status with caution. There is not doubt he has the ability to break tackles and gain yards after contact, two vital components to the running back position in the NFL, but his already damaged knee and lack of top tier athleticism will downgrade his stock. He will best be used in a system that allows him to carry the ball in certain situations rather then being depended upon to carry the ball every down. His intangibles are top notch and he is both a dedicated and accomplished two sport athlete that will enter the league as a guy that every coach wants on the field on way or another. He will get a shot as a tailback, but has the body and physicality to make the move to fullback in a pinch.
From National Football Post scouting guru Wes Bunting.
Gerhart possesses good vision and patience at the line of scrimmage and looks comfortable allowing his blocks to set up and then running to daylight. He's a better one-cut athlete than he's given credit for and has the ability to sidestep tackles in space and create after contact. He possesses some cutback ability at the line, and that, paired with his lower body power, is very tough to bring down on contact.
Gerhart does a great job picking up blitzing linebackers in the pass game and does a nice job as a blocker. He isn't a featured back at the next level, but he looks like a guy who can batter an opposing defense and work his way into a nice role as a No. 2 power back who has the ability to play on third down.
NFP's Matt Bowen also weighs in on Gerhart, a back he likes very much as a mid-round role player.
Gerhart is a downhill runner that does have an explosive enough first step to move through the hole and get to the second level on Sundays against NFL defenses. We tend to look past a guy like Gerhart due to the fact that he isn’t sexy and isn’t the type of NFL running back who can press the edge, plant and run past NFL defensive backs.
But, he is still a great pick in the middle rounds and could be the type of player that has staying power at the next level.
Although he wasn’t used prolifically at Stanford in terms of catching the ball out of the backfield, he does have the hands to get it done at the next level, along with the ability to pass protect — without a doubt the most challenging aspect of the NFL game for rookie backs.
Think of where he fits. Teams that utilize the downhill power game and teams that spend the first week of training camp perfecting the basic off-tackle running game — because that is how they move the ball. Can you see Gerhart coming downhill in the Lead Strong and the Lead Open? What about Seattle, San Diego or Pittsburgh? I could see him in any of these three backfields as a rookie.
I can, just as I can see him thriving in an offense where he plays a role that gives him five to 10 carries a game behind a No. 1 back.
Why Gerhart fits with the Giants
Because Brandon Jacobs is not going to be there forever, and may already be on the decline. Even with Jacobs, I can see Gerhart filling a few roles with the Giants. Short-yardage back. Third-down block, especially in a blocking capacity allowing Kevin Boss and Travis Beckum to run more routes. Maybe even becoming a replacement for Madison Hedgecock at fullback if he is able to add 10-15 pounds to his 6-foot-1, 235-pound frame.
Why the Giants should pass
If they are certain Jacobs has a few good seasons left, and if they are sure Andre Brown will be 100 percent then Gerhart really has no place to play. If not ... why not?