Report: Falcons, Giants Did 'Extensive Work' on RB Class for Possible Day 2 Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

North Carolina's Javonte Williams (25) runs the ball against North Carolina State during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants "have done extensive work" on the running backs in the 2021 NFL draft class with an eye toward addressing the position on Day 2, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano.

Atlanta "desperately needs help there," while New York might want to shore up the backfield after 2018 Pro Bowler Saquon Barkley missed most of the 2020 season with a torn ACL, per Fowler and Graziano.

Barring trades, the Falcons and Giants will pick at No. 35 and No. 42, respectively, in the second round. That should afford the teams plenty of options at running back.

Given the devaluing of the position, drafting a running back in the first round doesn't make sense. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the only first-rounder in 2020, and only two (Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders) went in the first two rounds in 2019.

Atlanta should look for a running back on Day 2 with Mike Davis and Qadree Ollison atop its depth chart. Najee Harris, Javonte Williams or Travis Etienne would be an upgrade.

For the Giants, it might be tougher to justify drafting a second- or third-round running back when it spent the No. 2 pick on Barkley in 2018. A torn ACL doesn't have to derail an elite running back's career; Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles are among those who successfully rebounded from the injury.

If New York targets the backfield early, it could signal concerns about Barkley's recovery.