Jerry Reese has never been timid about taking running backs in the late rounds of the draft, and has been rewarded gems like Andre Brown and Ahmad Bradshaw for his trouble.
A few weeks ago, I took a look at Andre Williams, who is an intriguing mid-round option, but should the NY Giants opt to forgo selecting a running back at that point, which considering the crowded backfield is a distinct possibility, they might look to select a more raw talent in the later rounds of the draft.
One player who fits that mold is USC running back Silas Redd. His stocky 5-10, 212-pound frame is just about right for a Tom Coughlin back. Redd’s 4.7 second 40-yard dash time confirms what the eye sees when he plays – not blazing speed by any means, but respectable.
You may remember Redd as one of the several players to transfer from Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but what you might have forgotten is that he was one of the best running backs in the country in 2011 before the transfer.
That season saw Redd battle through injuries to rush for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns, leading to his being named to the All-Big Ten Second Team as a sophomore. Redd’s future seemed bright, but after two injury-plagued seasons with the Trojans, he slid into relative anonymity.
Redd’s greatest attributes are his quickness and agility. He accelerates well and hits holes with authority, and can cut on a dime to elude defenders. Redd also keeps his legs churning upon contact, always fighting for the extra yard.
His weakness, other than his less than impressive speed, is that he commits the cardinal sin of exposing the ball. In 2012 he fumbled five times, and as we’ve seen, Coughlin has a very low tolerance for backs who cough up the ball. Redd’s injury history is also not promising.
While he’ll likely never become a star, if Redd can stay on the field, he should develop into a useful piece for whichever team ends up with him. He’s definitely worth taking a flier on in the seventh round if he’s still available.
Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist