The debate over what the New York Giants are going to do with their #2 overall pick on April 26th has become the central conversation in draft circles.
That’s because nobody knows what they’re going to do. It’s fairly certain that Cleveland will take a quarterback at #1 overall. So focus shifts to the Giants. A few things have made to where even their fans have no earthly idea what’s going to happen. Several scenarios have been offered and they each have considerable plausibility behind them.
They could draft a quarterback to become the successor to the 37-year old Eli Manning. Trading down is a popular option, a chance to stockpile a mountain of picks to help accelerate their rebuild. There’s also Bradley Chubb who could end up replacing the departed Jason Pierre-Paul at edge rusher. So much of the uncertainty centers around new GM Dave Gettleman.
All people can go by at this point is his track record in Carolina and that’s not revealing much. Gettleman has never drafted in the top five before. This is uncharted territory where anything is possible. It seems one idea has begun to gain steam.
Penn State RB Barkley emerging as a serious candidate
All the signs to this point suggest that the Giants intend to rebuild the roster around Manning, hoping to get one more shot at the Super Bowl before it’s too late. If this is true, then one of the problems Gettleman has to fix is the running game. The Giants ranked 26th in the NFL last year. In fact, the last time they ranked in the top 10 was back in 2010. It’s worth noting each of the past three times they finished that high in rushing, the team won at least 10 games.
That might be why ESPN writer Jordan Raanan is hearing they have heavy interest in Penn State star Saquon Barkley.
"“The Giants love running back Saquon Barkley. He checks all the boxes. He can do it all. “You can see where this is headed,” said one personnel evaluator with knowledge of the Giants’ thinking. “Just look at all their moves this offseason. It leads to Saquon Barkley.” The only hesitation appears to be Barkley happens to play a position that is deep in this draft and relatively easy to fill in comparison to others.”"
The last time the Giants drafted a running back in the 1st round was 2012 when David Wilson went 32nd overall. That experience did not go well. It’s also interesting to note that the Giants have never drafted a running back in the top 10 in the Super Bowl era. The closest they came was Ron Dayne (11th overall) in 2000. To date, only one running back out of eight total since 1971 taken by New York in the 1st round has made the Pro Bowl. That was Rodney Hampton.
At the same time, Gettleman drafted Christian McCaffrey 9th overall last year before stepping down in Carolina. Clearly, it’s not a move he fears. Take that for what it’s worth.