Training Camp Roster Preview: Paul Perkins
Thus far, life in the NFL hasn't exactly been kind to running back Paul Perkins.
Drafted in 2016 int he fifth round out of UCLA, Perkins was delayed in getting into the Giants OTAs due to his class schedule running into early June.
To his credit, Perkins studied hard to catch up and had a solid rookie season in which he ran for 456 yards on 112 carries (4.1 average).
That production was good enough for then-head coach Ben McAdoo to name Perkins the team's starting running back in March of 2017, a rare occurrence considering the lack of competition for the job.
Whereas McAdoo likely thought the pressure would be off Perkins once he was named the starter, the opposite was true.
Perkins, unfortunately, struggled as a starter, failing to rush for more than 22 yards per game in first four starts before giving way to an injury.
By season's end, Perkins had rushed for just 90 yards on 41 carries and had seen his reception total dip from 15 as a rookie to eight during his sophomore slump.
The following year, Perkins, like the rest of his teammates, was ready for a clean slate when misfortune struck again.
Perkins tore his pectoral muscle while working out on his own and would go on to miss the entire 2018 season, spending it on PUP. Between that and the addition of Saquon Barkley, it appeared that Perkins had no future on the Giants.
Perkins might have been the forgotten man by those outside of the organization, but since being cleared to return, he's been like a new man.
All Perkins has done is impress the Giants coaching staff as they audition running backs to be Barkley's backup. And Perkins, who looked like the odd man out, is very much in the thick of things.
The most significant difference in Perkins is that he doesn't appear to be pressing like he was two years ago. During the spring workouts, he ran well and looked much more at ease with his assignments.
And although there was no full-speed contact, Perkins appears to have an idea about his pass blocking assignments, all of which should help him as he battles to hang on to his roster spot.