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If Not Barkley, Then Who?

The NFL speculation crystal ball is currently running rampant on updates regarding the future of the New York Giants and Saquon Barkley. All signs are currently pointing to Barkley at the least testing Free Agency.

If Barkley walks, where do the Giants find a starting running back for the 2023 NFL Season?

On The Roster

The Giants currently have two running backs on the 2023 roster, Gary Brightwell and Jashaun Corbin. Brightwell played well last season in a limited role but he’s likely not an NFL feature back. Corbin may very well prove to be a camp body but an evaluation is impossible at the moment. Corbin did have a solid college career at Texas A&M and Florida State.

Free Agency

This will likely not be the best scenario to find a replacement running back for the 2023 NFL Season. You will typically overpay for players in Free Agency. Overpaying a running back in the current state of the NFL is a really bad idea. Having said that, if Schoen goes the Free Agency way the following players may be options:

  • Devin Singletary – Estimated AAV $5.5 million
  • Jamaal Williams – Estimated AAV $4 million
  • Jeff Wilson – Estimated AAV $3 million
  • Dark Horse Boston Scott – Estimated AAV $1.2 million

Out of these options, a pairing of Jeff Wilson with Boston Scott would be exciting to see. Wilson is an underrated running back with success in both San Francisco and Miami. It would be poetic justice to see Boston Scott transform from the Giant Slayer to the Giant Player.

NFL Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft is deep with running back talent. This is the pathway that would likely be the most salary cap friendly and likely the most beneficial to the long term success of the Giants.

With the success of recent later round selections like: James Cook (Bills), Brian Robinson (Commanders), Dameon Pierce (Texans), Tyler Allgeier (Falcons) and Isaih Pacheco (Chiefs) it would be of great benefit to consider this route as the path to replacing Barkley.

Who could the Giants target per round?

  • Round 1 (25) Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama)
  • Round 2 (57) Zach Evans (Ole Miss)
  • Round 3 (89) (100) Zach Charbonnet (UCLA)
  • Round 4 (127) Mohamed Ibrahim (Minnesota)
  • Round 5(160) Chris Rodriguez Jr. (Kentucky)
  • Round 6 (207) (217) Israel Abanikanda (Pitt)
  • Round 7 (241) (244) (253) Tavion Thomas (Utah)

If these players are available and taken in these respective rounds, it’s hard not to see the running back value in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Final Thoughts

The offseason is young. The Media and Sports Outlets are red hot with rumors. Where there is smoke, there is likely fire. The Giants have an assortment of options to replace Barkley if things do not work out with a contract extension. Whether the Giants feel like they have a solution on the roster or in Free Agency or in the the NFL Draft or even in a combination of all three, time will tell.

I, for one, am just enjoying the excitement around the New York Giant football team.

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