A year after having one of the most dynamic rushing attacks in the NFL, the 2009 Giants slipped considerably. Why? Blocking, running, play-calling, injuries, and just about everything else you can imagine. So today we take a look at a position the Giants might be interested in going after in the first two or three rounds of the draft:

RUNNING BACKS

Depending on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist is whether you see the Giants’ running back corps as half full or half empty. For the optimists we have Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw returning as a 1-2 combination followed by D.J. Ware who has shown flashes of skill but has never really had a chance to prove it on the field. Then the Giants get a fresh start with Andre Brown, who missed all of last season.

For the pessimists, a quick reminder that each of those four running backs has undergone surgery in the last eight months. Yes, Jacobs and Bradshaw were hurt for most of 2009, but there is no guarantee they will return to full health in 2010. Ware found his way into the doghouse and onto the bench. Can you really expect anything from Brown after rupturing his Achilles in training camp?

In some mock drafts, Clemson’s C.J. Spiller has still been available with the 15th pick. That might be too tempting for the Giants to pass up. Otherwise, look for them to grab a running back early, someone who at the very least will compete with Ware and Brown for the No. 3 job this year and who might be asked to carry more of the load if Bradshaw or Jacobs (or neither) is able to return to form.

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Some names to look at:

Jahvid Best (Cal), Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss), James Starks (Buffalo), Toby Gerhart (Stanford), LeGarrette Blount (Oregon).

Tomorrow in our position-by-position breakdowns: CORNERBACK.