Bradley Chubb. (Photo: Getty Images)

Don’t get it twisted: Saquon Barkley should be the pick for the New York Giants if the Penn State running back is sitting there at No. 2 in next month’s NFL Draft. But if he is already off the board, then the Giants have to be thinking defense, even if it isn’t a pressing need.

Bradley Chubb is that good that the Giants, despite having Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon on their roster, need to do more than seriously consider the North Carolina State defensive end. There’s no thinking about it.

It could and should be a no-brainer. If there’s no Barkley then they have to take Chubb.

There is no denying that after his showing at this weekend’s NFL Combine that Chubb is squarely in the discussion of being one of the top players in this draft. In fact, the argument could be made that given the need and importance of a pass rusher in the modern NFL that Chubb could be the most valuable player available this year.


His numbers at the combine were not only impressive, but his display backed up his game tape. At NC State, Chubb was an elite defensive end and capable of changing a game off the edge. That he tests and measures like a prototypical pass rusher only cements him as one of the best available players in the draft.

There’s no denying that if Barkley, who also stood out at the Combine, is available, then the Giants need to take him. Sure, there is the argument that running backs aren’t as valuable as they were years ago, a point backed up by the fact that no running back has been taken No. 1 overall since 1995. But Barkley is like Chubb in that he is elite, in that he has skills that automatically can lift a team’s offense.

And for a Giants ground game that has been bottom of the NFL for the past several seasons, Barkley would be a huge addition. He would not only help their rushing game but he would balance the offense and take the pressure off the likes of quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Barkley can do that for any team he joins. If the Browns go quarterback, then the Giants must draft Barkley. But if Cleveland decides to go the route of adding Barkley to their roster, then the Giants could do an awful lot worse than Chubb.

It isn’t a pressing need but Chubb’s ceiling is certainly that high, a player who would add a spark to the pass rush and be transformational. As the Giants transition their secondary, then a good pass rush can be a band-aid to what could be a young group of cornerbacks. Furthermore, Chubb in and of himself is simply that good of a player. He is worthy of being a top pick.

Someone who, frankly, deserves a starting spot on the field even if there are veterans ahead of him on the roster.

Remember that the Giants won the Super Bowl twice over the past decade because of a fearsome pass rush. A player like Chubb thrown into the mix alongside Pierre-Paul and Vernon as well as Damon Harrison would be simply fierce. It could be a dominant group.

Does Chubb transition the Giants into a Super Bowl contender? Not immediately, not in 2018. But the talent he showed on the field in Indianapolis this past weekend does make him too good to pass up for the Giants. 

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