With the 2016 NFL draft only a little over a month away, rumors are swirling regarding the New York Giants and the picks that they will be making. After a disappointing season, where the team finished with a record of 6-10, new Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is looking to improve an offense that had its struggles last season. While analysts have different opinions regarding who the Giants are targeting, a few recent mock drafts have them selecting Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the No. 10 pick.
As the 18th ranked rushing team last season, the Giants should look to improve their rushing attack. Led by a committee of Rashad Jennings, Shane Vareen, and Andre Williams, the Giants did not exactly have a ton of talent at the running back position. As NFL Spin Zone reports, Elliott could give the Giants the consistency that they desire at such an important position.
“The New York Giants haven’t had any kind of consistency when it comes to their running back situation. They thought they had it with Shane Vereen last year when they acquired him, but he didn’t have the impact many had hoped he would have with Big Blue. Vereen failed to score a single touchdown on the ground but was used more in a dual-threat kind of role with his receiving skills. Regardless, the Giants get a break and draft running back Ezekiel Elliott, making him the first at his position off the board. Elliott is easily the top running back in this year’s class as he will no doubt add an amazing dimension to the Giants’ offense. Partnering up with Vereen could provide explosive results for the Giants’ offense in 2016.”
While the running back position has been devalued in recent years, having an elite talent at the position is still a great way to win football games. After drafting the already retired David Wilson with the No. 32 pick in the 2012 draft, the Giants may be reluctant to take another running back in the first round. Regardless of past mistakes, the Giants may not shy away from Elliott because of how things with Wilson turned out.
While Giants quarterback Eli Manning is now 35-years-old, he still played at an extremely high level last season. His 4,436 passing yards and 35 touchdowns were among the highest of his career. While Manning is likely to continue his success in 2016, things could be made much easier with a reliable running game. If the Giants do not pull the trigger on Elliott, they will likely once again use the running back by committee approach.
As seen on the CBS Sports NFL mock draft, the experts have different opinions regarding whom the Giants should target. While Rob Rang views Elliott as the pick, the other four analysts have the Giants selecting Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee, or Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson.
For what the Giants need, Stanley may be the best possible pick. The problem is that Stanley is unlikely to fall to the Giants at No. 10, according to numerous NFL insiders. With a depleted offensive line, the Philadelphia Eagles have been rumored to be interested in Stanley. While the Eagles have also been linked to Elliott, Stanley makes much more sense for a team that is looking to protect Sam Bradford, who is extremely prone to injuries.
As the April draft gets closers, rumors will likely continue to link the New York Giants with Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. While a lot is going to change over the next month, the Giants should strongly consider drafting Elliott if he is available when they pick at No. 10.
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