Let me start off by saying this is not meant to be a should we pay Barkley or let him walk post. It is simply meant to highlight a need on the team and show some draft prospects that could fill it.
Here is a table of running backs in 2022 that rushed for 500 yards and had 50 receiving targets. The data is sorted by their percentage of 1st downs to targets. As you can see Barkley is at the bottom of the list with only a 13% ratio. You can see similar information comparing the yards/target numbers. The fact is that as a receiver Barkley does not match up well with other receiving high yardage backs.
The Giants backups are not used much in the passing game so difficult to know if they could fill that role. But one would assume that if they were exceptional in that ability they would be used. Here is the same data for the team. Though Brightwell has a exceptional 1st down/tgt ratio his yards/target are low if you look at the others in the NFL league table.
I hope they keep Barkley and sign him to a reasonable deal. What I also hope is that they draft a back that excels in receiving to complement Barkley. This is a good draft class for running backs. Here is a list of running back prospects that had a college career with 1000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving.
My favorite is Kenny McIntosh from Georgia. He has a high average yards per reception. Last season he had 515 yards gained after the catch which led all Running Backs as reported by PFF. On the season McIntosh has over 1,000 total yards with 709 rushing yards, 449 receiving yards and a combined 11 touchdowns.
However McIntosh has been moving up draft boards and may be a bit steep for the Giants to draft a RB2. Although with experience McIntosh looks like he could grow into an RB1. Draft network has McIntosh as a round 3 pick. Another prospect is Tyjae Spears of Tulane. Also shows a good average yards per reception. Tyjae was the Cotton Bowl MVP. In that bowl he passed the 200-yard mark on the ground and found the end zone four times. The draft network site has him as a round 4 prospect.
The following backs will be in the Shrine Bowl on Thursday
The following backs will be in the Reese Senior Bowl
Here is a link to NFL data used