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Giants news, 9/23: Devonta Freeman scouting report, more

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New York Giants v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Devonta Freeman scouting report

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Now that it looks like former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will be a Giant, and could even be available Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, I turned to Dave Choate of SB Nation’s Falcons website, The Falcoholic, for a scouting report. This was Choate’s reply:

“The Falcons moved on from Devonta Freeman for a few reasons, but I think the No. 1 was cost. They wanted to use the money they were going to spend on Freeman on another back (Todd Gurley, as it turns out) who was younger and the team felt had more left to offer. Freeman was coming off of two consecutive injury-marred seasons and had a pretty abysmal year as a runner, which made the decision pretty easy for them. Dirk Koetter also was not around when the team drafted Free, and he’s not the kind of super-powerful, large runner the veteran offensive coordinator tends to prefer.

“That said, it wasn’t even close to all being based on merit. Freeman is still an extremely reliable receiving option out of the backfield, as he scooped up 59 of 70 targets last year and scored 4 touchdowns through the air. He’s also a quality blocker and still showed plenty of signs of life as a runner in 2019 when he was given the opportunity and the blocking to show it. Koetter is a notoriously mediocre offensive coordinator when it comes to rolling out a quality ground game, and the Falcons’ offensive line was bad for the first half of the year. That meant plenty of up-the-middle runs for a 5’8”, 206 pound back coming off of serious injuries, which is an awful use of the player’s talents.

“If you’re able to give Freeman some space to work and get him outside, he can still be a capable (if likely no longer stellar) option, and the value he brings blocking and catching the ball makes him a strong option for the lead back in a committee. I can’t promise that the signs of decline that were there last year won’t be more apparent in 2020, but I’m still a believer that Freeman can be an asset for your offense if you have the right pieces in place.”

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