gary brightwell giants
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The Giants have added a young running back to the offensive unit, drafting Arizona’s Gary Brightwell in the sixth round.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Giants have drafted a running back with the No. 196 overall pick in the sixth round, ultimately selecting Arizona’s Gary Brightwell.

The young back was an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention selection in 2020, having rushed for 390 total yards and one touchdown. He additionally caught 13 balls for 53 yards.

If he makes the final roster past training camp and the preseason, Brightwell will be a reserve back behind Saquon Barkley, who’s looking to come back strong after an ACL tear limited his 2020 season to two appearances.

Brightwell is set to work alongside the star Giants back and free-agent pickup Devontae Booker, who inked a two-year deal with Big Blue this offseason.

Gary carries some experience returning kicks (he returned five in his collegiate career for the Wildcats), so maybe the Giants work him out in that department as well.

It’s a strange pick due to the fact New York could’ve focused on the interior of the offensive line with this resource, something many expected the organization to do during the Day 3 portion of the 2021 draft. At the time, Tennessee offensive lineman and two-time first-team All-SEC selection Trey Smith was available, but the Giants ultimately decided that taking a chance on someone who could provide depth to the running back room was the superior route.

At least the Giants now have multiple guys they could look toward should Barkley deal with injuries once again in 2021.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.