The New York Giants and Saquon Barkley are both in store for big offseasons in 2024. These two sides have failed to reach a long-term extension after New York slapped Barkley with a franchise tag in 2023.
Prior to training camp, the Giants and Barkley agreed to a one-year, $10.1 million deal but the 26-year-old is scheduled to hit the open market in March.
The Penn State product doesn't want to be slapped with the franchise tag for the second straight year but who knows what management is thinking.
Below we'll discuss three running backs that New York could draft to replace Barkley.
1. Audric Estime, Notre Dame
Notre Dame's Audric Estime was the lead workhorse in the backfield for the past two years. Estime is a big-bodied ball carrier with experience in both gap and zone-blocking schemes.
The New York native has displayed tremendous patience and owns a strong base that allows him to run through contact. Estime gets downhill with ease and thrives as a north-and-south runner.
He also has a solid burst and good short-area quickness. In 2023, Estime was 12th in the nation in rushing yards (1,341), 11th in yards per carry (6.39), and tied for third in rushing touchdowns (18). Additionally, he piled up 100-plus rushing yards in six games last season.
The Giants have at least one draft pick from Rounds 2-6 and could have the chance to snag Estime. He may not be as explosive as Barkley but he could certainly be effective at the next level.