C.J. Spiller said he hasn't heard much from the Giants during the buildup to Wednesday night's NFL draft. Oh, but there was one quick call that the team did make to him last week. They wanted to get the phone number of where he'd be Thursday night just in case they need to reach him.
Spiller, along with more than a dozen other highly touted players will be at Radio City Music Hall listening for his name to be announced as a first-rounder. And it may have just been protocol, but the Giants were not asking for his number so they could call to congratulate him when another team picks him.
Running back may not be the biggest need on the Giants this offseason, but that doesn't mean the team isn't intrigued by Spiller and his do-everything ability in terms of running, receiving and returning kicks.
It was only two years ago that the Giants had a pair of 1,000-yard running backs. They went into last season with Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and the hopes of replicating that feat. Instead, by the time the first month of the season was over, both of those backs were suffering from injuries that would slow them down for the remainder of the year and land each on an operating table.
Jacobs had surgery on his knee while Bradshaw had screws inserted into the bones on both of his feet and had his ankle repaired. Add to that group last year's draft pick Andre Brown, who is recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles' tendon suffered in training camp, and D.J. Ware, who showed promise but wound up benched late in the season, and maybe the Giants do have a need for running backs after all.
That depends on who you ask.
"It's all up to the Giants and who they want, but with us backs we feel that we'll be fine," Bradshaw said last week. "Everybody should think we'll be fine this season."
General manager Jerry Reese said he's been told that all of the Giants' rehabbing players should be ready to work in training camp in August. But the injuries at running back are very pronounced, especially for a team that bills itself as a "power running" team.
"Like the other positions, we are hoping people can come back and be healthy," Reese said of his running backs. "Obviously our starter and our backup were banged up a little bit over the past season. They are on a good pace to be healthy going into the season, so we expect those guys to be healthy."
The Giants have a history of making picks at positions where they are already filled with talent. They drafted defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka in the first round with Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck already clogging the depth chart.
"It doesn't preclude us from drafting even if we have depth at a position," Reese said. "If he is the best guy up there, it's going to be hard for us to pass him up."
Spiller might very well be that best guy up there. If he is, then the Giants know whom they'll be calling.