This is the eighth of an eight-part series analyzing each Giants draft choice. 

Ahmad Bradshaw, Round 7 (250):

With every position of need addressed in some way, the Giants took a running back with their last pick, even though they didn’t really need one. With both Jacobs and Droughns signed through at least 2008, and the unexciting but adequate Derrick Ward recently re-signed, we have enough competent running backs on hand.

But perhaps Bradshaw can provide an upgrade over Ward (whom you would never want to see starting a game for us), allowing us to be in a better position a year from now. That might entail cutting Droughns as he enters the last year of his contract, or perhaps using Droughns at fullback (the position he played his rookie year with the Broncos), parting ways with Finn, and having Bradshaw back up Jacobs.

A best-case scenario for Bradshaw’s would be for him to become our third-down back, either this year or in the future. The scouting reports say that he is pretty good at picking up the blitz, a quality that may allow him to immediately surpass Derrick Ward, who is apparently a poor pass blocker (Source: Pro Football Prospectus 2006, just so you don’t think I’m talking out of my ass.)

Who knows? The point is that we had filled every other area of need, and with this pick, the fact that we must have liked Bradshaw and our desire to upgrade from Derrick Ward converged.

The big thing that recommends Bradshaw is his production at Marshall, where he rushed for 1,523 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior last year for an average of 6.1 yards per carry. That’s pretty sick, and though it obviously won’t necessarily translate over to the pros, it’s certainly worth taking a flier on.

Even though he’s not very big (5-9, 198), Bradshaw is a good between-the-tackles runner, known for his good vision and ability to read blocks, pick the right hole, cut decisively, and run hard through the hole with a good initial burst. He has some moves, is a pretty good receiver out of the backfield, and is good at picking up the blitz.

Bradshaw turned heads during rookie minicamp as well. Here’s a quote from Colonel Tom:

“You’d have to say Bradshaw had a noticeable morning. He’s been back on kickoff returns, on punt returns. He caught the ball coming out of the backfield. You saw a couple of runs where he was able to turn the ball north-south. It catches your eye, for sure.”

Sure, these rookie minicamps shouldn’t be read into very much, but for a guy who will have to struggle to get noticed and contribute in a pinch, it bodes well.

On the negative side, despite his physical style, Bradshaw is small and not fast (4.66 in the 40). Scouting reports say that he doesn’t really have the speed to turn the corner consistently and won’t win any footraces in the open. There’s certainly a strong likelihood that his production at mid-major Marshall won’t translate and that he’ll find himself out of his league physically.

Another concern are a couple of “off-field incidents,” for lack of a less ridiculous term. Before his freshman year at Virginia, where he started his college career before transferring, he was arrested for underage drinking. This one doesn’t concern me, and if it concerns you, you are either a prude or a hypocrite.

The second incident is a more troubling, being that it didn’t involve drugs, alcohol, or fighting, but was rather a moral transgression indicative of a bad person: Last January, Bradshaw stole a PlayStation 2 from a dorm room at Marshall. What a fucking dick. He can talk all he wants about “learning from his mistakes,” but you don’t “learn” to become a good guy if you’re that big of an asshole when you’re 21. If I were the poor dude whose PlayStation got jacked, I’d root for this guy to tear his ACL and be working at a gas station in two years.

(If you think I’m being sarcastic about this, I’m not. Like, what a dick. I can’t stand when athletes, in their self-absorption, paper over legitimate dick moves that fuck other people over as “youthful transgressions.” Getting bagged for drinking or drugs is a youthful transgression, indicative of poor judgment. But you don’t steal someone’s shit because you have poor judgment; you do it because you’re an asshole.)

But I’m not the guy whose PlayStation got jacked. I’m a Giants fan, and I’m rooting for him. And I think that there’s a pretty decent chance that we’re gonna hear from this guy, if not this year then in the near future.