Journeyman running back facing heavy odds to stick with Giants
Five years after getting his first NFL opportunity as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens, running back Taquan Mizzell is still trying to prove he belongs in the league.
With Devontae Booker, Corey Clement, rookie Gary Brightwell and two players (Elijhaa Penny, Cullen Gillaspia) competing for a fullback job, do the Giants have a place for Mizzell? Let’s look at that as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
Position: Running back
Contract: One-year, $853,500 | 2021 cap hit: $853,500
— The Running Back Lab (@rblab_) May 18, 2021
Career to date
Mizzell didn’t make the cut in that first 2017 chance with the Baltimore Ravens. He was waived, then claimed by the Chicago Bears. He bounced between the practice squad and active roster for two seasons in Chicago, appearing in 12 games. Mizzell had nine carries for 16 yards (1.8 yards per carry) and eight receptions for 78 yards (9.8 yards per catch) for Chicago. He spent the 2019 season on the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints, and joined the Giants’ practice squad last November. He then signed a reserve/futures contract with the Giants.
Mizzell is an interesting case. He played collegiately at Virginia and showed ability as both a runner (2,068 career rushing yards, 4.5 yards per carry) and receiver (195 catches, 1,560 yards). In 2019, in an unsuccessful effort to remain with the Bears, he switched to wide receiver.
With the Giants, he is competing for a job as a running back.
Mizzell appears to be a below average athlete for a running back. One thing seems clear about Mizzell — he can catch the football. Can he do enough other things to force the Giants to keep him around? Unless there are injuries, a spot on the practice squad is likely his best hope.