When you think of the New York Giants' and Jets' priorities heading into the NFL draft this week, the running back position doesn't come to the forefront. However, with LaDainian Tomlinson aging and the possibility of losing Ahmad Bradshaw to free agency, the two New York clubs could be seriously considering Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray at some point.
The Giants still have Brandon Jacobs locked up for the next two seasons. However, his decline in production since 2008 has caused some concern, and if the Giants were going to put replacement plans into motion, the time to start could be now.
The former Sooner racked up 1,214 rushing yards and nearly 600 yards receiving his senior year, and while his durability is questionable, there is no denying his talent is first-round material.
The multi-talented running back showcased his abilities throughout his four-year college career, setting the school's record for all-purpose yards with 6,948. He is also OU's all-time leader in points scored. Furthermore, Murray is a kick returner, and his 4.41 speed that he showed at the combine can give the Giants a huge boost on special teams, as Darius Reynaud and Danny Ware are not the most dangerous or exciting players to watch with a ball in their hands.
As for the possibility of landing in a New York uniform, Murray was more than thrilled.
"I would love that. I love being out here, I've been here twice and I can't get enough of it. I definitely love being here on the East Coast. Those are two good franchises, two teams heading in the right direction, and I definitely think I can come in and fit in with the offense."
Although he "loves" it here on the East Coast, he wouldn't break it down any further as to which New York franchise he'd prefer, saying, "I couldn't choose between the two."
The New York Giants have needs along the offensive line and within the linebacking core, but a playmaking running back with Murray's ability can't be far off their radar.
A player with Murray's skill set can give the Giants what Reggie Bush gives to the New Orleans Saints, and while their game may seem similar, Murray doesn't want to be compared to the former USC Trojan.
"We do some of the same things alike, but I definitely feel I'm a little bit more of a powerful runner than he is. We both catch the ball well, but my blocking ability is a little stronger than his. He's a great player. He's someone I portrayed my game after for a long time, but we are just two different kind of backs."
Murray scored 20 touchdowns last year, five of which were through the air. Last season, Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs had a total of zero receiving touchdowns combined. It's no knock to their talent, but catching out of the backfield is just not their strength.
Murray's versatility to run and catch the ball out of the backfield is something the Giants have not seen since Tiki Barber.
"My biggest asset is my elusiveness. The fact I can also catch the ball out of the backfield, you can line me up at receiver, I definitely think that's one of the biggest strengths of my game."
His "elusiveness," as well as all of his other attributes, will be tested and studied here in New York City, as part of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute to give Murray a better understanding as to how "sports nutrition can elevate his game to the next level." Gatorade is constantly working with athletes of all ages to help educate them on not only the dangers of dehydration, but how they can benefit from a strong nutritional diet during and after workouts and games.
If DeMarco continues to do all the little things right, he is all set to make one big impact come game day. Giants' fans should just hope that he's in the a blue and white jersey come September.
Kyle McMorrow, a Correspondent for Bleacher Report, is a freelance writer and news production assistant for 1010 WINS Radio in New York City. He has also worked for the Big Ten Network and ABC-TV in New York City. McMorrow has interviewed numerous prominent athletes, such as Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson. All quotes from this piece were obtained first-hand.
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