Where the 2017 NFL draft is deep, it is very deep.
Several position groups not only have top-flight talent, but they have a lot of it, and talent throughout their depth chart. They also have players with skill-sets for every scheme and need, and running back is no different. The draft is deep with scat-backs, all-purpose backs, and power backs from the top to the bottom.
It’s commonly held that the New York Giants are (or at least should be) in the market for a power back to compliment Paul Perkins. As it so happens, Wisconsin running back Corey Clement fits that bill, but is in the somewhat unique position of being productive without having too many snaps in college. He also comes out of a pro-style offense, which should shorten his learning curve as he adjusts to the NFL.
- Sports a compact, powerful frame, and runs like it.
- Determined runner who keeps his legs churning through contact.
- Shows an effective jump cut to quickly slide between running lanes.
- Good burst through the hole.
- Generally runs with good balance and pad level. Clement is tough for a single tackler to bring down.
- Capable pass protector who doesn’t shy away from contact.
- Teams will need to investigate an off-field incident in 2015 that resulted in a broken hand (reportedly punched somebody in an elevator).
- Looks faster on the field than in the combine, but he still lacks break-away speed in open space.
- Not often used as a receiving option.
- Has a good burst, but lacks true explosiveness.
- Needs to be more patient waiting for his blocks.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Assuming the Giants draft a running back, which kind they take depends on their self-scouting and evaluation over the off-season. If they choose to go with a power back, Clement might be a decent fit.
He isn’t as explosive as some of the other backs in the draft, but he has enough of a burst to hit a hole, get the job done, and deliver a hit to the defense. He does his best running between the tackles -- though he is dangerous bouncing his runs outside -- which is where the Giants have had their most success running.
Clement’s inexperience catching the ball and relative lack of athleticism could be limiting in the Giants’ offense. Running backs are frequently targets in the passing game, and holes aren’t open long (at least they weren’t last year).
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 66th overall
CBS Sports - 148th overall
Draft Countdown - 232nd overall
Draft Tek - 165th overall
Clement’s stock has fallen some since our initial rankings. An uninspiring workout at the Scouting Combine has called his athletic upside into question, and he might be limited at the next level.
However, even if he is never a big-play threat, Clement is still a capable running back on the field. He could probably stand to show more patience behind the line of scrimmage, but does hit holes hard. More limiting in the Giants’ offense might be his inexperience catching the ball (just 29 receptions in 4 years at Wisconsin). And if the Giants’ run blocking doesn’t improve with their other off-season additions, he might have a hard time getting through the line of scrimmage.