Let’s not pull any punches when we talk about what happened to the Giants last season. They were unacceptably terrible, and a big reason for that was the running game. Going into this offseason, I was hoping they would address this situation, whether via free agency or the draft, and so far they have done so nicely. Let’s meet the one of the new Giants for 2014, Rashad Jennings.
Jennings, a soon to be 29 year old out of Liberty College, was drafted in the seventh round (250th overall) by the Jaguars in 2009. He immediately became Maurice Drew-Jones’ backup, and even made a few starts when MDJ was hurt from year to year. Before the 2013 season, he joined the Raiders to back up another injury prone guy in Darren McFadden. Because McFadden can’t stay on the field, Jennings actually had his best year last year, making 8 starts and carrying the ball 163 times for 733 yards and 6 TDs. He also caught 36 passes for 292 yards, which makes him a little more versatile than the guys we’ve had back there recently too. When he hit the open market, I guess he was too good for the Giants to ignore.
The scouting report is pretty simple for Jennings. He’s a guy that’s going to run where the blockers are. He’s not flashy, but, at 6’1″ and 235 lbs, he’s solid and gets the job done. He’s also only lost one fumble in his career, which automatically makes him more likable than David Wilson (if he’s even healthy enough to play).
It’s no secret that the running game (or lack there of) had a huge amount to do with the team’s terrible start last year. Andre Brown got hurt in the preseason, and David Wilson shortly there after, and we had to watch a combination of Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jacobs, Michael Cox and even Da’Rel Scott poop their way down the field every Sunday. Although it was nice to see Jacobs again, and Hillis actually did a pretty good job, the whole situation wasn’t pretty. Having a guy like Jennings could help a lot. I think he can handle a full time gig, but having a somewhat proven guy who can take the bulk of the snaps will also make the other guys more effective. If Hillis can come in for a goal line play here and there, rather than take 20 snaps a game, he’ll be fresher and healthier all season long.
The Giants aren’t breaking the bank with this signing either, as they got Jennings for four years and $14MM (only $3MM guaranteed, though). I like this signing. Welcome Rashad Jennings!
Featured image courtesy of: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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