Contenders: David Wilson, D.J Ware, Da'Rel Scott, Henry Hynoski
Ok, not really Henry Hynoski. Maybe he gets a goal line carry here and there.
The New York Giants love to fancy themselves as a running team, even with Eli Manning's growing prowess under center.
The departure of Brandon Jacobs has left a 265-pound hole in the backfield that will need to be filled. There are three backs on the Giants roster who are itching to take over his spot as backup to Ahmad Bradshaw.
Bradshaw has all the talent to be a bell-cow, but nagging foot injuries have made it safer to have him lead a platoon of runners, rather than take the world on by himself. The Giants will likely employ a three-back system, similar to the "Earth, Wind and Fire" backfield of Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Bradshaw from 2008.
Each of the three potential replacements has a gold star on his resume to give him an edge.
D.J Ware is the oldest by far, and is the savvy veteran at 27 years old. He also happens to be the biggest of the three, weighing in at 225 pounds for his six-foot frame. Replacing Jacobs will require somebody who can pound the rock inside and Ware is the only heavy back on New York's roster.
He has never blown up the box score in his career, but he did make some of the most memorable clutch plays of 2011. Fans are not likely to forget his two-point conversion on the draw to tie the Packers back in Week 13. He isn't flashy, but he can make small plays when he needs to, which is what you want from a large second string running back.
Da'Rel Scott was a completely unused rookie last year, but what Giants fan is going to forget his 97-yard touchdown run in the 2011 preseason? He has some developing to do, but we all know what happened to the Giants' last unheralded preseason hero (Victor Cruz).
David Wilson has the pedigree of being the Giants' first-round pick in the 2012 draft. That, combined with his 4.4 40-yard dash time practically demands that he be given the RB3 position. He can be utilized as the guy who gets five or fewer touches per game, but averages 10+ yards per carry.
Running back is a dangerous job and one or more of these guys is likely to get hurt at some point in 2012. Luckily for Giants fans, it should all work out either way.
Second-string Running Back (Power): D.J Ware
Third-string Running Back (Explosive): David Wilson