Paul Perkins Named Giants Starting RB over Shane Vereen, Wayne Gallman

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2017

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 01: Running back Paul Perkins #28 of the New York Giants carries the ball against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField on January 1, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It's only May, but the New York Giants have already tabbed Paul Perkins as their starting running back for the 2017 season.

"Paul Perkins is going to be our starter out there on first and second down, and we've added some competition in the room in a variety of ways," head coach Ben McAdoo said on WFAN Monday, according to NJ.com's Dan Duggan. "Shaun Draughn, Shane Vereen is coming back, we drafted Wayne Gallman, so it's going to be interesting to see how the running back room shakes out."

How Giants RBs Fared in 2016
PlayerGamesRush YdsYPARush TDReceptionsRec. YdsRec. TD
Paul Perkins144564.10151620
Shane Vereen51584.8111940
Shaun Draughn (with 49ers)161962.64292632
Wayne Gallman (at Clemson)151,1334.917201520
Pro-Football-Reference.com

Perkins, 22, was deployed as a supplementary rusher during his first year with Big Blue and made only one start as a result.

In 14 total appearances, the UCLA product rushed 112 times for 456 yards and zero touchdowns. However, it should be noted that 22 percent of his rushing total came when he busted loose for 102 yards on 21 carries in Week 17 against the Washington Redskins.

Before that career day, Perkins hadn't rushed for more than 68 yards in one outing.

"We feel that Paul Perkins is going to grow," McAdoo added, per Duggan. "He didn't even have an offseason last year. He played a lot on special teams for us. We plan on him contributing as a special teams player this year as well. But running the ball on our own terms will be big for us."

Now the Giants' primary early-down back, Perkins will be tasked with holding down the fort for a unit that ranked 29th among all NFL teams in average rushing yards (88.3 per game) last season.