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Paul Perkins and the Giants Backfield

From the New York Daily News:

– Good luck figuring out what the Giants’ plans are at running back after they drafted UCLA’s Paul Perkins in the fifth round on Saturday. The Giants now have six RBs they like, including the four they had last year – Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Andre Williams, Orleans Darkwa – and veteran Bobby Rainey, who was signed this offseason. Who’s the odd man out? Forget Jennings and Vereen, given the money the Giants invested in them. And the Giants almost never cut their own draft picks, so forget Williams (a 2014 fourth-rounder). It seems to me, Darkwa and Rainey will be longshots to make the roster. As for Perkins, he has explosive potential and the Giants see him as a complete back, but don’t get excited about a fifth-rounder contributing a lot immediately. That said, Williams is coming off a terrible, 257-yard season. If he wants to avoid the weekly inactive list, he’d be wise to get off to a hot start.

I’ve spent about the last hour trying to figure out which RBs will make the Giants roster and I don’t think I’m any closer than I was when I started. I was almost sure that Williams would be cut until I read this piece. Williams has been pretty underwhelming each of his first two seasons, while Orleans Darkwa was decent last year (Williams was the only NYG RB to not average about 4.3 yards/carry). All of Rainey, Darkwa, and Williams play special teams so I’m not sure any of them has an advantage over the others in that regard.

I suspect that Perkins will make the roster although I’m not sure how valuable he would be even if Rashad Jennings were to get hurt. Presumably Shane Vereen would still handle most of the passing down work and then it would be something in the range of a coin flip as to whether Perkins or Darkwa/Williams/Rainey would get the rushing work. It could even be a three headed monster.

There are some things to like about Perkins, like his pass catching ability, although he’s still mostly reflective of just how poor this rookie class is. Even if Perkins shows some flashes this year we might all sit around and wait for his team to just draft another running back considering Perkins’ low draft cost. Like a lot of players, it wouldn’t surprise me if Perkins is fantasy relevant, and also his prospect resume isn’t even close to making me confident that he will be. Although he does have a situation where it wouldn’t take much to happen for him to get some touches. Rashad Jennings will be 31 this year and after that there is no player who would have a stranglehold on RB snaps for the Giants. Shane Vereen has never handled more than 22% of carries.

Here are some comps for Perkins which illustrate how he could be relevant and also isn’t guaranteed relevance by any means.

download (17)

If you’re catching up on RotoViz articles Perkins finished in the Final Four of our RB Sweet 16. Also, Charles Kleinheksel liked him enough to root for him to go to the Colts. Meanwhile Kyle Pollock hoped he would land with the Cowboys.

This is a situation worth monitoring simply because Rashad Jennings is 31, but it’s really tough to handicap right now.

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