Just based on the numbers, running back was not a position at which the New York Giants needed to add a player in this year's draft. They rotated four running backs last year. All four are still on the roster. And they recently signed former Bucs running back Bobby Rainey.
But the Giants went ahead anyway and picked Paul Perkins in the fifth round. And if you follow the Giants, you know the draft picks make the team. They're obviously not likely to keep six running backs (or even five), so it's fair to wonder whose spot Perkins ends up taking.
Here's a look at the six running backs on the Giants' roster right now, starting with the newest guy, and the manner in which the Perkins selection affects them.
Perkins: The Giants were saying Saturday that Perkins is a "three-down back," and extolling his willingness and ability in pass protection. This establishes him as a threat to everyone, because while the Giants did go committee at the position last year, they would prefer to have one back who could handle all of the roles week to week. One reason the Giants really like Perkins is that he has a lightning-quick initial cut that should play well in Ben McAdoo's offense and sets him apart to a certain extent from anyone else in the room.
Rashad Jennings: I still expect Jennings to open camp and the season as the nominal "starter," and to be first in line for early-down work as long as he's healthy. But Jennings didn't play well last year until December, and his health history is a major reason the Giants went with the committee last year instead of handing him the job and leaning on him as a 20-plus carry guy all year. Jennings is making only $2.25 million this year and $2.6 million next year, so there's no financial reason to replace him. But at 31 years old, he's not long for the role, and if he gets hurt again, he could conceivably end up in the Wally Pipp role if the rookie comes quickly.
Shane Vereen: His full $1.25 million salary for this year is guaranteed, and so is $500,000 of his 2017 salary. Vereen is also the one Giants running back whose role last year was never in question and was unaffected by the committee madness. Could someone like Perkins eventually be a big enough part of the offense that he makes Vereen expendable? Sure, but that's a best-case scenario for a fifth-round pick. And even if it happened, it wouldn't be this year. Vereen is not affected by this situation.
Andre Williams: The 2014 fourth-rounder didn't advance the way the Giants hoped he would in his second season and could be in a fight for playing time or even a roster spot if he doesn't show much in camp. One thing he has going for him is that it would be extremely unusual for the Giants to give up on a healthy draft pick after only two years.
Orleans Darkwa: Not looking good for a young man who showed promise in limited work last year. Darkwa's already missing workouts with a leg injury and is squarely on the roster bubble with a rookie running back in the mix.
Rainey: A candidate for a spring or summer release. While he can help on special teams, so do all of these other guys. And with the Giants having drafted a back, you could easily see Rainey asking for (and getting) a chance to find a clearer path to playing time somewhere else.