Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount celebrates after scoring a touchdown. (Getty Images)
The Giants and free-agent running back LeGarrette Blount could agree to terms before the start of the 2017 NFL draft on Thursday. (Photo: Getty Images)

With the NFL draft just hours away, some veteran free agents are starting to inch towards signing new contracts.

 

Adrian Peterson and the New Orleans Saints made the biggest splash this week when they finalized a two-year deal Tuesday, the team announced.

 

Another free-agent back could be the next big name to sign and he could be making his way to Metlife Stadium.

 

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, there is “mutual interest” between LeGarrette Blount and the New York Giants in a deal that could be completed before Thursday’s draft.

 

Blount resurrected his career with the New England Patriots last season, rushing for a career-best 1,161 yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns.

While it might not alter the Giants’ draft strategy much considering the team’s need for help along the offensive line, the 6-foot-1, 245 pound bruiser of a back would provide a much-needed change of pace for an offense devoid of a legitimate No. 1 rusher.

New York ranked 29th in rushing offense last season as it did not have a single back eclipse the 600-yard mark.

Rashad Jennings was not physical enough to be an in-between-the-tackles runner but not fast enough to bounce things outside in the West Coast offense, either. The Giants released him after the 2016 season and he is still a free agent.

Paul Perkins showed flashes of being a productive back, but it remains to be seen if the 22-year-old could actually be a headlining man in the backfield. New York also brought on Shaun Draughn as a veteran option that offers a similar skill set.

Shane Vereen brings the most agility in the Giants’ backfield and is a viable receiving option in the flat as well, but his health has been a cause for concern.

If the Giants are able to bring Blount on, then their backfield has a solid amount of depth that could play almost any style depending on the opponent.

One of the calling cards of many great Giants teams was their ability to methodically move the ball down the field via the running game and simply wear opponents out.

With the introduction of Ben McAdoo’s West Coast offense, New York has moved away from that style of play over the years, putting more pressure on Eli Manning and the passing game.

If the Giants can introduce an effective ground game by bringing on Blount, then they will have to like their chances of making the playoffs for a second-straight year with a well-rounded offense.