One of the questions surrounding the New York Giants heading into next season is who will be their feature running back?
Orleans Darkwa, the New York Giants’ leading rusher from a season ago, is coming off his best season and is a free agent and could be seeking a payday that Big Blue is unable to match due to other needs they need to fill such as the offensive line.
Of the running backs currently on the roster, Wayne Gallman is the one that would move to number one on the depth chart and fill in for the void that Darkwa may leave behind.
The Giants selected Gallman in the fourth round of last year’s draft (140th overall) after he had a decorated college career and played a huge role in the Clemson Tigers defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 in the 2016 National Championship game.
In his first season with Big Blue, he was the second leading rusher on the team with 476 yards on 111 carries. He also had 34 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown.
Despite playing behind a porous offensive line, Gallman ran hard and was productive when he was on the field. He and fellow rookie Evan Engram were one of the few bright spots for the Giants this season.
Now the question is, is he ready to be the workhorse running back for the Giants in 2018? While some may doubt if he’s ready for that role, Gallman is confident that he can be. Just look at the tweet he did on Tuesday.
I’m not a true workhorse? ?. Bet
— Wayne Gallman II (@Wanye_Kanye) January 31, 2018
How the Giants view him will go a long way on how they proceed this off-season with the running back position. In addition to Darkwa, Shane Vereen is also a free agent and seems unlikely that he’ll resign with the team which will leave another void to fill.
We know that new head coach Pat Shurmur is committed to running the ball as he touched on this during his introductory press conference.
Last season when Shurmur was the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator, the team ran the ball 501 times the second most in the NFL only behind the Jacksonville Jaguars (527).
If the Shurmur and the Giants feel Gallman can be the workhorse, they may just look to add a complementary running back such as Jerick Mckinnon who can sub in for Gallman and be the third down back.
Or the Giants could decide to use the second pick in the draft and take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley who is by far the best running back in this year’s draft, and has the potential to be a superstar in the NFL.
Expect Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman to have a lengthy conversation on how they plan to use Gallman next season.