For the second straight year, the NFL Draft looks to be stacked with talent at the running back position. There are players at the position to fit every offensive scheme and need, from massive power backs to explosive scat-backs, to top-end “bell cow” running backs.
The New York Giants’ young running backs, Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman have both shown upside and potential at various points in their young careers. However, one of the things the Giants lack on their offense is a running back that inspires fear in defenses. Even during the six (or so) game stretch before their offensive line was completely obliterated by injury and they fielded one of the most efficient rushing attacks in the league, teams rarely seamed fearful of Gallman, or Orleans Darkwa.
USC’s Ronald Jones II certainly commanded respect from opponents. Could he do the same for the Giants?
- Impressive agility, balance, and start-stop acceleration.
- Good vision to find holes.
- Strong burst out of his cuts.
- Determined runner who consistently tries to finish runs.
- Can run between the tackles and has the speed to find the edge on off-tackle runs.
- Versatile weapon. Capable receiver out of the backfield, as well as split out as a receiver
- Tenacious blocker. Punches well out of his weight class blocking in pass protection, and is very willing as a blocker on screen passes.
- Doesn’t have ideal size and isn’t a punishing runner.
- Build leads to questions about durability.
What they’re saying
SOURCES TELL US
”I love his juice. You have to have some of that to become a good back in the pros and he has a lot of it. He may be a little too light to give it to him more than 12-14 times per game though. I worry if he can hold up.” - NFC Personnel executive
- via NFL.com
Does He Fit The Giants?
Jones is a fun running back to watch. He shows the kind of patience you want to see behind the line of scrimmage, waiting for his blocks to set up before exploding through seams. He isn’t going to run anyone over, especially not at the NFL level, but he is surprisingly tough to bring down. He is stronger than he looks, has solid balance, and very good agility, so would-be tacklers have a habit of just seeming to slide off him.
Then, once Jones is in the clear, he is able to hit the gas and turn pick up big gains -- or take the ball all the way to the endzone.
Despite his build and frame, Jones has utility on most downs and the NFL will like his upside as a receiver and tenacity as a blocker. As of now, he is generally considered one of the best running backs in the draft and makes frequent appearances on “top five running back” lists.
For the Giants in particular, the question becomes whether or not Jones is too similar to Paul Perkins. He is faster than Perkins, but the two have fairly similar styles and utility.