Since the end of the New York Giants dreadful 3-13 2017 campaign, which secured the No. 2 pick of the 2018 NFL draft, speculation has continuously bombarded headlines about what the team might do with their selection.
Initial consensus indicated that new general manager Dave Gettleman would go with a quarterback as an eventual replacement for the aging Eli Manning, who has gotten the nod for the starting job next season. That tune has since changed though as the Giants have a chance to draft a franchise-changing talent in the backfield.
Penn State product Saquon Barkley is widely regarded as the best talent in the 2018 draft class and has only helped his case more after a monster showing at the NFL Combine in which he put up 29 reps in the 225-pound bench press.
On Thursday, he was one of a number of running backs interviewed by the Giants after he spoke with the media about the possibility of being drafted by New York.
“If I was fortunate to go to a team like that, that would be a good fit,” Barkley said. “That would be special. I admire [Odell Beckham Jr.’s] game. He’s a walking highlight. Everyone knows the one-handed plays, but he can catch a slant and take it 80 yards.”
During his time at Penn State, Barkley has proven that he can do it all, whether it’s varying his running styles between power and finesse or catching the ball out of the backfield:
It fits the bill for new head coach Pat Shurmur, who broke down what he’s looking for in a running back.
“You have to have a guy, in my opinion, at running back who is a multi-dimensional guy,” Shurmur said. “Really, I have no use for any offensive skill player who can’t catch, and running back is no different.
When he was asked if Barkley fit the bill, Shurmur replied “oh yeah.”
The problem is, the Cleveland Browns hold the No. 1 pick in the draft and if they don’t view any of the quarterbacks — whether it be Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield — as a franchise-altering talent, they could very well snap Barkley from New York’s draft.
Should that happen, don’t be surprised if the Giants deal their No. 2 pick based on Gettleman’s comments earlier this week.
“Any decision I make is going to be in the best interest of the New York Giants, plain and simple,” Gettleman said. “If someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse, would I move back? It depends upon who is there.”
And that certain “who” could very well be Barkley.