The injury status of Paul Perkins could affect the New York Giants’ draft decisions, and it now appears the running back’s pectoral injury was more serious than initial reports indicated.
Perkins was spotted earlier this week with his arm in a sling while sitting out a team workout.
On Thursday, multiple media outlets reported Perkins required surgery to repair that pectoral injury, which suggests a longer recovery period.
The injury occurred before the start of the offseason program, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic, and there is no timeline for Perkins’ possible return to football activities.
The injury could lend more credence to reports that the Giants will take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, which begins in a few hours.
New York reportedly is considering either Barkley or North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb with the second pick. Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson also could be a possibility.
NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang lists USC quarterback Sam Darnold first in his most recent Big Board. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, Barkley, Nelson and Chubb round out the top five.
Barkley is currently projected to go to the Giants at No. 2 overall by both Rang and fellow NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler in their latest mock drafts.
Barkley rushed 217 times for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns last season with the Nittany Lions, including a 92-yarder in a Fiesta Bowl victory over Washington. The consensus 2017 All-American also caught 54 passes for 632 yards and two scores, as well as returning two kickoffs for touchdowns.
The 6-foot, 233-pounder then turned in a spectacular workout at the NFL Combine, registering a 4.40 40-yard dash along with a 41-inch vertical and 29 reps on the bench press.
New York ranked 31st in the NFL in scoring in 2017, finishing ahead of only the winless Cleveland Browns (14.6) with just 15.4 points per game.
Perkins had 112 carries for 456 yards and 15 catches for 162 yards during his rookie season of 2016, but had just 90 rushing yards and eight receptions in 11 games in 2017.
Jonathan Stewart and Wayne Gallman are the other experienced backs on the Giants roster.