Rejoice, New York Giants fans. Training camp is right around the corner. With two months remaining until a season-opener on the road against the Tennessee Titans, it is the perfect time to project the team’s 2022 roster. Today, let’s take a look at the potential 2022 Giants running back depth chart:
Projecting the 2022 New York Giants Running Back Depth Chart
Saquon Barkley Enters Final Year of Rookie Contract
Barkley Looking to Rebound in Final Year of Deal
It is hard to imagine that we are entering Saquon Barkley’s final year of his rookie contract. His future with the Giants is uncertain. Both sides are hopeful that Barkley can return to being the impact player he was in his rookie season. Without a doubt, it is realistic that it could happen in the new Head Coach Brian Daboll‘s offense.
Barkley has a multi-dimensional skillset; he can post close to 1,000 on the ground and become a reliable target for Daniel Jones in the passing game. Ideally, Daboll wants to use all of his talents and turn Barkley into one of the league’s most dynamic offensive weapons in 2022.
If he exceeds expectations, the talented back’s market value could become too rich for the Giants. But the team will deal with that obstacle down the road.
Matt Breida Can Excel as a Backup
The backup running back position has been the biggest weakness on the roster for the last few seasons. The Giants have struggled to identify someone in the role. It has been an area of concern for far too long. This summer’s training camp will feature several promising candidates who could emerge as Barkley’s primary backup.
After three seasons of Barkley being the lone producer in the Giants running game, Matt Breida has the necessary tools to be a contributor this season. He played in Daboll’s offense during their time together with the Buffalo Bills last season. Breida has the skillset (elusive runner and solid receiver) to give Barkley a breathier in a complementary role.
Unproven Competing for Final Running Back Spots
Heading into training camp, Gary Brightwell, Antonio Williams, and Sandro Platzgummer are expected to compete for the final two running back spots on the Giants roster. Brightwell is an accomplished special-team performer. But he would guarantee himself a roster spot if he could become a short-yardage runner. New York’s coaching staff feels Brightwell has untapped potential as a lead back.
The Giants carried four running backs on their roster last season. And the new coaching staff is expected to take that same approach in 2022. Williams is a candidate who could earn the final spot on the depth chart because of his familiarity (played in Buffalo last season) with Daboll’s offensive approach. It is a clear advantage over his competition. Williams is a patient runner between the tackles as he quickly identifies where the running lanes will open off the snap of the ball. The time is right for him to make an impact as a runner, receiver, and blocker.
Platzgummer is a great candidate for the Giants practice squad this season. He is part of the NFL’s International Pathway Program, but his talent level is very raw compared to other candidates heading to training camp later this month. No question, Platzgummer’s athleticism offers the Giants an opportunity to take a flier on him for 2022.
The Giants running game has been underwhelming since Tom Coughlin was ushered out the door in 2015. With Barkley having another year removed from his knee surgery, Daboll is confident the talented back is closer to his former self product-wise than any time last season. Until then, the position’s depth chart will be a work in progress.
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