In 2014 the New York Giants' running game primarily featured power running backs.
With the retirement of David Wilson, their opening day roster featured Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, and Peyton Hillis. Of the three, Jennings was the smallest at 225 pounds.
Though they added the smaller and shiftier Orleans Darkwa mid-season, we can't know whether the Giants are really interested in having a "change of pace" running back.
If they are, and if they want an upgrade from Darkwa, they could look at Nebraska workhorse Ameer Abdullah
- Lightening quick cuts, great balance, and vision
- Highly productive at Nebraska. 264 carries, 1,611 yards, 19 TDs in 2014. 4588 yards, 39 TDs mostly in the last three years
- Surprisingly tough runner who runs behind his pads and can be tough to bring down.
- At home running between the tackles or to the edge.
- Experienced receiver out of the backfield
- Reportedly very high character, and football IQ
- Small hands could make pass catching at the next level difficult
- Nasty fumbling habit (could be made worse by his hand size). Had 13 fumbles in four years
- Stout build, but an overall small frame. He might not be able to handle a heavy workload at the next level
- 800+ carries at Nebraska, overall wear and tear might be an issue
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Like so many prospects, that depends on what they are looking for. If the Giants really are interested in a change of pace back then absolutely he fits.
If they are looking for another bruiser who forces defenses pick their poison between defending a smash-mouth rushing attack or defending the spread passing game, then Abdullah isn't as great of a fit. He finishes his runs and can run through arm tackles, but he can't punish defenses the way a bigger back can.
That said, there is a lot about him that absolutely fit the Giants. His character, IQ, and leadership make him a prototypical "Coughlin" player, and a perfect fit with how they have been drafting the last two years. Also, his versatility helps Ben McAdoo keep the playbook wide open.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 38
Mocking The Draft - 50
CBS Sports - 47
Draft Countdown - 70
Draft Tek - 78
The 2015 draft should give a lot of insight into how the Giants are thinking. Given the absolute glut of running backs with legitimate "first round" talent in this draft, whether or not they draft one gives a very clear indication of how they feel about Orleans Darkwa. If they do select a running back, what kind of back they draft will give a good insight into how McAdoo feels about the position and how he wants to use it in the offense.
With the running backs available this year, combined with how he position is being devalued in the NFL, there are going to be some remarkable talents available looong after they should have been drafted. Because of his size, hand size, and workload at Nebraska, Abdullah could be one of them ... But considering he could be another Ray Rice (minus the domestic violence), or LeSean McCoy, he could be one of the steals of the draft.