As part of The Post’s 2021 NFL Draft preview, we examine what the Giants might do at each position. Thursday: Running back.
Could the Giants take a running back with one of their six picks in this draft? Sure they could. Their roster is not exactly stacked with them. They have Saquon Barkley, coming off reconstructive knee surgery, and although he is expected to be ready for the start of the season, his workload will have to be carefully monitored. They have Devontae Booker, a 28-year-old signed in free agency to serve as an experienced backup. That is about it after they did not make a play to retain Wayne Gallman, who, surprisingly, remains unsigned.
If Barkley returns to form, every other running back on the roster is an understudy, as this is not a shared backfield in any sense. Barkley is a three-down back and taking him off the field on third down does not happen — unless he does not progress as a pass-protector, which is one of the few flaws in his game. Booker has never been a prolific runner — his best season came as a rookie in 2016 for the Broncos — but the Giants view him as an upgrade to Gallman. Plus, Booker can contribute on special teams, something Gallman did not do.
The Giants will not take a running back on Day 1 of the draft and it will be shocking if they do so on Day 2. They could go for one on Day 3, if some interesting prospects such as Javonte Williams (North Carolina), Michael Carter (North Carolina), Kenneth Gainwell (Memphis) or Trey Sermon (Ohio State) are on the board in the later rounds.