While the New York Giants certainly have other areas to address in next month’s NFL Draft, several reports have surfaced claiming the G-Men are currently in love with Alabama running back Mark Ingram. Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News actually went on the NFL Network yesterday to suggest just that. While most mock drafts have Ingram deeply entrenched at the No. 15 spot to the Miami Dolphins, the Giants are apparently pretty motivated to snag the running back.
The Giants desperately need to add to their offensive line and front seven, but after taking a hard look at C.J. Spiller last year – before he was taken by the Buffalo Bills – New York could make a move to get Ingram.
Brandon Jacobs has been a disappointment since the Giants tried to make him their primary ball carrier in 2009. That year Jacobs signed a four-year, $25 million contract, and finished the season with just 835 yards and five touchdowns, despite a career-high of 224 carries. Then in 2010 Jacobs was essentially demoted back into part-time duty, as he finished the year with 823 yards and nine touchdowns on 147 carries. He had a career-best 5.6 yards per carry last season, but the Giants are clearly not sold on Jacobs as a full-time guy.
In addition, Jacobs’ backfield mate Ahmad Bradshaw is coming off of a season in which he suffered numerous minor injuries after having surgery on his ankle and both feet in the previous offseason. Despite those setbacks, the 25-year-old Bradshaw had a career year in 2010, racking up 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns on 276 carries. He also caught 47 passes for 314 yards. But, unfortunately, Bradshaw once again had ankle surgery earlier in this offseason and the Giants have reasons to worry about his durability.
Clearly if the Giants have eyes for Ingram, they don’t have confidence in their current running back tandem. The 21-year-old Ingram, who won the 2009 Heisman Trophy before struggling through a tough 2010 season, has long been seen as a guy who might not be flashy, but will be a consistent producer. He’s a guy with excellent balance, runs at pad level and doesn’t shy away from contact, in fact he thrives on it.
Currently Scouts Inc. has Ingram listed as the No. 17 player in the 2011 NFL Draft, and grades him out as a 93. That puts him far ahead of his closest competition at running back, Virginia Tech’s Ryan Williams who carries a grade of 87.
The Giants currently hold the 19th pick in the draft’s first round. They may have to move up ahead of the Dolphins if they’re serious about taking Ingram. That said, if they stay in their current spot, they could probably address a more pressing need.