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Giants RB: A Sleeper Prospect

TC : 2/6/2020 4:35 pm
Barkley is a world class NFL RB. But heís one who is averse to contact and isnít particularly adept at gaining tough short yardage. Penny hasnít impressed me in that role, though Hilliman showed some promise. There may already be someone on the roster who can fill that role, but if so, Iím not convinced.

In reviewing NFL prospects for that role there are several characteristics I initially look for; some size, some power, good contact balance, aggressive determination and general RB competence. When seeking these traits, there are some backs who appear to both possess them, and also offer a little bit more. And I think I may have found one. And surprisingly, heís from a Div. II school.

Itís innately difficult to evaluate the NFL potential of a player whoís outstanding at a lower level of competition. Generally, you want to see the traits youíre looking for with dominance and outstanding production. That fairly well describes RB Nate Gunn of Minnesota State Mankato. Listed at 6í2Ē, 220, in 2019 he ran for 1,667 yards in 260 attempts for a 6.4 average per carry. Nice! But what I really want is a RB with a nose for the end zone, and Gunn delivered 31 TDís. I.e., a big, productive, workhorse RB who scores.

Stats are useful, but can be misleading. Often RBís who put up dazzling numbers at lower levels of competition are smaller scat backs, or plodding monsters, who become long shots to ever see an NFL roster. I need to see the RB with the ball in his hand, and this is where Gunn began to excite me.

Iíve not been able to find as much video of him as I would like, but at the top of his game, he is impressive. With decent size, youíd expect him to have some power, and he does. But thatís almost a minor characteristic. He has outstanding vision and some of the best contact-balance this side of Alstott that Iíve seen. And heís agile for a man his size. This results in him being one of the toughest RBís to bring down that Iíve seen. He doesnít just try to run tacklers over, though he can, heís really slippery and hard to hold onto. Added to that, he has decent burst, and reasonable long speed.

While Gunn is a larger, well-conditioned small school RB, my judgment based on what Iím seeing is that in an NFL S& C and nutritional program heís likely to get even a bit larger and stronger. And with NFL coaching, his innate ability as a RB will get refined and embellished.

Considering that heís not YET even appearing on most lists of 2020 NFL RB prospects, and probably wonít get a Combine invite, he will either be a very late round pick, or an UDFA. Considering that the Giants have three 7th round picks, he might offer an intriguing opportunity to augment the Giants RB corp.

Iíve not been able to find much decent video of Nate. Unfortunately, the clip that best showcases his talent is from 2017. But given his 2019 stats, as shown above, his ability hasnít diminished.

2017 Video Highlights Nate Gunn RB - ( New Window )
I am much more in favor  
JerryNicklebag : 2/6/2020 4:43 pm : link
of finding a big, between the tackles, ground and pound guy to complement Barkley. Someone who can punish defenders and wear them down. 240lbs plus.
I really like  
Amtoft : 2/6/2020 4:45 pm : link
Zach Moss from Utah
Barkley is not averse to contact  
Victor in CT : 2/6/2020 4:49 pm : link
..........
Zach Moss looks good!  
TC : 2/6/2020 4:53 pm : link
Possible 4th round pick.
Canít remember if he  
tyrik13 : 2/6/2020 4:53 pm : link
Declared or not but Iíd keep my eye on Clyde Edwards-Helaire as a sleeper pick for the Giants. Kid is tough as hell, runs inside and out, decent pass pro for his size as well l, can catch the ball out the back field and can split out in the slot. Kinda reminds me of a mix between Ahmad Bradshaw and Darren Sproles.
Yes, Edwards-Helaire has declared.  
TC : 2/6/2020 4:58 pm : link
I think he's a heck of little RB, and plenty tough, but I don't know that he'll have as much success running between the tackles in the NFL. He's likely a late 2nd, early 3rd round pick.

When did  
XBRONX : 2/6/2020 5:02 pm : link
Hilliman showed promise? Missed it.3 yards a carry with a long of 10.
Where did this idea  
Keaton028 : 2/6/2020 5:06 pm : link
originate that Barkley is averse to contact?
Glad..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 2/6/2020 5:12 pm : link
to know you "initially look" for things in prospects.

That brings comfort and an air of expertise. Afterall, you snuffed out that Barkley is averse to contact.

Well done, Holmes.
Iíd like to see us bring in a Latavius Murray type of  
eric2425ny : 2/6/2020 5:16 pm : link
back to spell Barkley. A guy who can give us 8-10 carries a game for 40-50 yards. I wouldnít hate seeing us pick a guy somewhere in the 4-5th round range that can be that player.
RE: Barkley is not averse to contact  
averagejoe : 2/6/2020 5:20 pm : link
In comment 14805461 Victor in CT said:
Quote:
..........


Open your eyes
RE: Glad..  
TC : 2/6/2020 5:21 pm : link
In comment 14805479 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
to know you "initially look" for things in prospects.

That brings comfort and an air of expertise. Afterall, you snuffed out that Barkley is averse to contact.

Well done, Holmes.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Your contributions always add so much to the discussion.
RE: Where did this idea  
averagejoe : 2/6/2020 5:21 pm : link
In comment 14805475 Keaton028 said:
Quote:
originate that Barkley is averse to contact?


Probably from his bunny hop backwards when he curls up in a fetal position and takes a four yard loss
averagejoe  
Keaton028 : 2/6/2020 5:24 pm : link
Every running back has negative carries at times. Pretty much any team in the league would take Barkley. Some of you guys have really odd takes regarding some of our better, younger talent.
AJ Dillon  
Angus : 2/6/2020 5:38 pm : link
Big, one cut back
RE: averagejoe  
monstercoo : 2/6/2020 5:55 pm : link
In comment 14805487 Keaton028 said:
Quote:
Every running back has negative carries at times. Pretty much any team in the league would take Barkley. Some of you guys have really odd takes regarding some of our better, younger talent.


I think the OP has a valid point. I think our running attack could benefit for more downhill running. My hope was Barkley would change his style of running, but after year 2, it doesn't seem like that will happen. It'd be nice to bring someone else in do the dirty work.

Also, sure every team in the nfl would want Barkley on their team, but he would be in a committee on most of them. I'd also say Zeke, Henry, Jacobs, McCaffrey and maybe Chubb would be starters over him.
Ummm...  
MarkT : 2/6/2020 6:02 pm : link
Stopped reading at first paragraph.. If you start with a wrong assumption, the rest of the thread can't be worth much.
Not to beat an apparently dead horse  
KeoweeFan : 2/6/2020 6:12 pm : link
but as a Clemson fan I'm still curious about what happened to Wayne Gallman. Last year he seemed to have improved his pass protection and he was always a good receiver out of the backfield. He did well in the first games he subbed for SB before he got hurt. When healed he was in the doghouse.

He consistently made the short and goal line yards for Watson, and was the major college leader in yards after contact.

Anyone know the reason for his fall from grace? He would seem to be an important asset in the Giants RB room.
Maybe what ever the problem, Burton Burns can revive his career. Hopefully he will at least get a clean slate in the spring.
RE: Zach Moss looks good!  
Amtoft : 2/6/2020 6:20 pm : link
In comment 14805463 TC said:
Quote:
Possible 4th round pick.


Listen to this person... They watch college football clearly!
How do we think Brandon Jacobs would do  
CT Charlie : 2/6/2020 6:40 pm : link
with this line in front of him? He'd be hit in the backfield, just like Barkley. And on the few occasions where he'd have a hole, he'd plough over some guys for 8-10 yards where Barkley jukes to earn 12-20. I love 'em both, but for different reasons.
RE: When did  
Ivan15 : 2/6/2020 8:20 pm : link
In comment 14805472 XBRONX said:
Quote:
Hilliman showed promise? Missed it.3 yards a carry with a long of 10.



Confusing Hillman and Allen?
Clean slate for Gallman and everyone else. The last coaching staff  
Ivan15 : 2/6/2020 8:32 pm : link
didnít know what the hell they were doing.

Slayton and Connelly appear to be good picks by DG and his group. Love was about the only developing player and the coaches kept him hidden for too long. Smith was a good pickup by DG. Jones was about the only pick Shurmur should get any credit for. The other first round picks didnít show more or less than expected.
Iím going to continue to beat the drum for  
rasbutant : 2/6/2020 8:32 pm : link
Peyton Barber.
Link - ( New Window )
Barkley is not adverse to contact - the OL is  
PatersonPlank : 2/6/2020 8:42 pm : link
Seriously every run he is basically just lowering his head and running into DL players, usually on our side of the LOS.
RE: Glad..  
dan518 : 2/6/2020 8:50 pm : link
In comment 14805479 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
to know you "initially look" for things in prospects.

That brings comfort and an air of expertise. Afterall, you snuffed out that Barkley is averse to contact.

Well done, Holmes.


LMFAO!!!! You're such a dick! I love it!
hopefully the new RB coach  
mdc1 : 2/6/2020 9:24 pm : link
will teach him how to block and run between tackles, or find a RB that can. It is so sad that when you really need basic football capabilities like power running or a TE that can play the typical NFL role seen in every championship team we cannot get it right. very odd.
RE: Yes, Edwards-Helaire has declared.  
tyrik13 : 2/6/2020 11:00 pm : link
In comment 14805469 TC said:
Quote:
I think he's a heck of little RB, and plenty tough, but I don't know that he'll have as much success running between the tackles in the NFL. He's likely a late 2nd, early 3rd round pick.


I think he will, if you watched him at LSU, he was truly a load to bring down, even between the tackles, he pushed the pocket for a RB his size and he was truly a load to bring down. I agree on the draft spot as well.
Not ready to give up on Saquon as a power back yet.  
Reese's Pieces : 2/6/2020 11:20 pm : link
With experience, and better blocking, and, very important, the experience of playing with the same linemen for a year or more, hopefully he can at least gain three or four yards on first down.

If you have to take the guy off the field on 3rd and 1, then he's no longer a first round draft pick. You lose the option of throwing to him on third down. You lose the fact that every ten or so carries between the tackles, with the defense stacked up at the line, he's going to break through the line and run to daylight.

I think that a lot of the time he looked bad getting tackled for a loss he was trying to spin away from the defensive players and bounce the play outside. That doesn't work too well in the NFL.
Ur right  
OC2.0 : 2/7/2020 2:26 am : link
He is adverse to contact...in his own fkg backfield
A backup RB  
CromartiesKid21 : 2/7/2020 6:55 am : link
That needs to be a good pass blocker as well
RE: Where did this idea  
mavric : 2/7/2020 8:48 am : link
In comment 14805475 Keaton028 said:
Quote:
originate that Barkley is averse to contact?


My first thought exactly. I scratched my head with a confused "whaaaat?". This is simply not true. If he avoids contact, it's because he is trying to gain yards and not get tackled - which by the way, is fucking smart - exactly what all great RBs do. A RB who determines to run straight into tacklers as a statement that he's all about contact rather than one who avoids it, has a life long NFL career of about 1-2 years. Maybe less!

It's been pointed out on here on other threades and it bears repeating. Barkley should be used the way the Panthers use McCaffrey in order to extend his career. Now go out and get a smash mouth RB to compliment Barkley for those tough short-and-thirds. Might have to get a new one every couple of years, but at least Barkley's career could be extended an extra few years.
Edwards Helaire is a little piece of iron  
Jim in Forest Hills : 2/7/2020 8:58 am : link
like Bradshaw.

Would love him on the Giants, hopefully a day 3 pick.
RE: Where did this idea  
Giant4Life : 2/7/2020 1:21 pm : link
In comment 14805475 Keaton028 said:
Quote:
originate that Barkley is averse to contact?


Because he runs away from it. He'd rather lose 5 yards in spectacular fashion than gain two yards by just running into the pile. He runs soft.
I think he learned this year that finesse doesn't work in the NFL.  
Reese's Pieces : 2/7/2020 1:41 pm : link
I think that by the end of the season he was just going straight ahead between the tackles.
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