Giants ‘Definitely’ Wanted ‘Future Lead’ Running Back on Day 2 of Draft

MarShawn Lloyd

Getty The New York Giants "definitely" wanted a "future lead" RB on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL draft.

The New York Giants waited until the fifth round of the 2024 NFL draft to add a running back, Purdue’s Tyrone Tracy Jr., but Big Blue wanted MarShawn Lloyd on Day 2.

That’s according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. He revealed “New York also had its sights on USC running back MarShawn Lloyd as a future lead back but didn’t have a pick between Nos. 71 and 107. Lloyd went 88th. But the Giants definitely had him on the radar in Day 2.”

Fowler’s description of Lloyd as a potential lead back makes sense of the Giants’ interest. Lloyd would have been the bell-cow back the Giants are missing. Unfortunately, the Green Bay Packers pounced first with the 88th-overall pick.

Giants Had Obvious Need for MarShawn Lloyd

Seeing Saquon Barkley join NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency robbed the Giants of a complete workhorse. They haven’t replaced Barkley with a true RB1.

Using a third-round pick on Lloyd would have given the Giants a plug-and-play replacement for Barkley. Lloyd dominated at USC, averaging 7.1 yards per carry in 2023, according to Sports Reference. His nose for the end zone was evidenced by 18 rushing touchdowns during his last two years of collegiate football.

Lloyd’s power and elusiveness were summed up by “47 missed tackles,” per PFF GB Packers.

The Giants missed their man after selecting defensive back Andru Phillips with the 70th pick. It means there’s still room for another addition to the backfield.

Giants Still Need a Veteran RB

Signing a proven runner should be on the Giants’ to-do list during the remainder of the offseason. Tracy is a change of pace back, while veteran Devin Singletary works best in a committee approach.

A rushing committee is what the Giants are set to rely on with Barkley’s backup Matt Breida still on the market. Fortunately, the veteran class still contains intriguing options like a former NFL rushing champion, along with a tough journeyman who has a 1,000-yard season on his CV.

Giants’ general manager Joe Schoen should ramp up a search for a natural power back. Somebody to punish defenses between the tackles and keep the chains moving in short-yardage situations.

The problem will be compounded if special teamer Gary Brightwell ends up being released. Brightwell’s 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame can offer the Giants something different in this rotation.

There are available upgrades, like Dalvin Cook. The former Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens back is a bruising, downhill runner with four Pro-Bowl berths to his credit.

Cook recently revealed to KPRC 2 Houston’s Aaron Wilson how “Right now the only thing I’m really focusing on is getting myself in tip-top shape to really tote the rock come the fall.”

The Giants should explore what Cook still has left. He’s only 28 and versatile enough to still carry the load in both phases of an offense from the backfield.

Offering Cook a short-term and cost-effective contract would soften the blow of missing out on Lloyd. It would also save the Giants from becoming overly reliant on a ground game defined more by speed outside the tackles than power inside.

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