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Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee

[Remember to check the '2010 NFL Draft' section for all stories relating to the draft.]

Just how big of a need is running back for our New York Giants? If you believe the pundits predicting the demise of Brandon Jacobs, maybe it is a bigger need than we have really been willing to admit.

With Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, D.J. Ware, Andre Brown and Gartrell Johnson the Giants certainly have lots of options. The question is, can they really rely on any of those guys to carry the bulk of the running load?

I suspect the upcoming draft will tell us a lot about how General Manager Jerry Reese and the rest of the Giants brain trust feel about that question.

With that in mind, let's use today's Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile to look at a player who might fill the bill as a power running back for the Giants. Montario Hardesty of Tennessee, a hard-running 6-foot, 225-pound back whose draft stock has been climbing.

Let's take a closer look.

Montario Hardesty Scouting Reports

From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.

Hardesty is a one-cut runner who quickly makes a decision and hits the hole. Shows a good power burst through the line. .... Can shrug off arm tackles. Easily can be described as a downhill runner.

Hardesty's best asset is his power. He won't outrun many opponents, but he can run through them. He rates as high as he does because he combines his power with pass catching ability.

Still, he has an injury history that can't be ignored. Had a stress fracture in 2008, missed a lot of time in 2007 with ankle sprains and tore his ACL in high school. You also have to question Hardesty's ordinary play until his senior year.

From the National Football Post.

A tall, well-built back with a strong lower body and an aggressive running style when attacking the line of scrimmage, Hardesty does a nice job keeping his pad level down inside and is surprisingly slippery for a guy his size. He does a nice job setting up blocks, being patient inside and accelerating into daylight. ... He does a great job in the pass game and has the ability to be split out wide and can separate from defensive backs in the pass game. He's a natural receiver who plucks the ball away from his body and is comfortable running routes and creating after the catch. Hardesty is also a very efficient pass protector ... He's had some health issues that need to be checked out, and his future durability is a concern.

From Draft Countdown.

Adequate height and bulk ... Quality natural athlete ... Quick ... A patient runner with excellent vision and instincts ... Soft hands and is a reliable receiver ... Outstanding ball security ... First-rate competitor ... Terrific work ethic ... Still improving.

Just average speed ... Not overly elusive ... Isn't very explosive and lacks a burst ... Not really a breakaway / big play threat ... Durability is a big concern ... Relatively limited track record.

Saw his draft stock skyrocket in 2009 after entering the season with a late round / free agent grade ... The type who does everything well but nothing great ... Has the talent to contribute and maybe even compete for a starting job as long as he can stay healthy.

Why Hardesty fits with the Giants

Because there are questions about all of the backs on the Giants roster. The Giants, in my opinion, need to begin looking for a power back other than Brandon Jacobs. At 6-foot, 225 pounds Hardesty sounds like a player who could take on that role. His pass-catching ability also means he is not a one-dimensional player.

Why the Giants should pass

The durability issues. The Giants just went through a season where every one of the backs they used came up injured at one time or another. They don't need to be bringing in more guys with injury issues.

(E-mail Ed at Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)