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Orleans Darkwa leaves new GM with something to think about

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Heading to free agency, running back posts career game

Washington Redskins v New York Giants Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

If the New York Giants do not select a quarterback with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, there are already many in the fan base banging the drum for Penn State running back Saquan Barkley, who said Sunday he will enter the draft.

In Sunday’s season finale, though, Orleans Darkwa — and to a lesser extent Wayne Gallman — did their best to convince new general manager Dave Gettleman that running back might not be a position of need for the 2018 Giants.

Darkwa finished the best season of his four-year career on Sunday, carrying 20 times for 154 yards on Sunday in a season-ending 18-10 victory over the Washington Redskins. He ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run on the game’s second play.

Darkwa, 25, is an unrestricted free agent. The 154-yard effort gave him 761 yards for the season, during which he averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Could Darkwa and Gallman, with more consistent offensive line play, be enough for the Giants at running back?

Darkwa, obviously, doesn’t know what Gettleman will decide.

“We’ll see what happens. I love the fans here. Love the players. I’ve been here for a while and it’s definitely been fun, but I’m looking forward to the future and I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to be back,” Darkwa said. “I don’t know what the future holds, but definitely – I mean, that’s things to discuss with my agent.”

Darkwa, who has had some injury issues in the past, carried the ball in all 16 games this season. He had 10 or more carries in eight games, and said Sunday he feels capable of being a lead, every-down back.

“I believe so. We didn’t have a lot of wins this season, but when we did just had 20-plus carries and were able to get a lot of wins. I mean, not a lot of wins. Some wins. So, I feel like I can do it,” Darkwa said.

It will be interesting to see what sort of value Gettleman, or other general managers around the league, attach to Darkwa.