Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
It's really simple for the Giants: Draft a quarterback, and focus on the future of the franchise with the aging Eli Manning about to walk off into the sunset. How much easier could it be when you have the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, right?
That appears to be the mindset of almost every expert and fan looking at the Giants in next year's draft after this horrendous season. The Browns are almost a lock to pick a quarterback, and the Giants should follow suit with USC QB Sam Darnold and UCLA QB Josh Rosen headlining the top prospects next season.
But this Christmas I have someone else on my wish list, someone I believe the Giants would be a fool to pass up next April: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley.
Now, I know that everyone wants to look two, three, four years from now in this draft, and selecting one of the top quarterback prospects is the way to go. But my question to you, Giants fans, is do you really believe a quarterback is going to help get this team out of the rut it has been in all season?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all looking toward the future. However, this season has been so atrocious, the Giants need to go get someone who will make an immediate impact for the team. Not someone to sit on the sideline with an earpiece while they get "groomed" by Manning.
It also should be noted that recently, Giants S Landon Collins bluntly told the media he doesn't want the team to draft a quarterback because he believes the team's third-round pick last season, Davis Webb, is a "little Eli." Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie reiterated this fact, pointing out that Webb mimicks everything Eli does in practice, and continues to impress everyone with his work ethic.
So, with Webb already a season into the Giants' playbook, there is no need to draft a quarterback right now. The Giants need to draft someone who will make a big difference in the team's success next season.
Enter Barkely, the nation's top running back prospect, and most definitely a 2018 Rookie of the Year candidate. Standing at 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, he can literally do it all. Barkley can bust through the smallest holes, make tacklers miss in the open field, catch out of the backfield, protect the quarterback during the blitz, take kickoff returns to the house, and even throw for touchdowns.
Barkley is a Swiss Army knife that can cut through any defense, and his stats this season speak for itself. He tallied 1,134 yards on 199 rush attempts (5.7 yards per carry), and 16 touchdowns. In the air, he netted 594 yards on 47 receptions (12.6 yards per catch), and three touchdowns. He also broke out at least an 80-yard play both rushing and receiving this season. He was also a menace on kickoffs, averaging 28.4 yards per return, while recording two touchdowns.
Overall, Barkley ranked second in the NCAA this season in all-purpose yards (2,154), and fifth in touchdowns (21).
But what does any of that matter if the Giants still daunt their awful offensive line? No matter how good Barkley is, he can't play to his best abilities if he doesn't have any holes to burst through. But the Giants' new GM (whoever he turns out to be) must address this issues whether it's later in the draft, or through free agency.
What Jerry Reese failed to do will be the new GM's top priority, and what better way to win over fans than to fix the biggest problem on the team.
So, with a revamped O-line, just imagine what this Giants offense can be with Barkley. Barring any health setbacks, the Giants will boast WRs Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Brandon Marshall on the outsides, TE Evan Engram (who has been a bright spot all season), and Barkley in the backfield behind Manning, who will have more than enough to work with.
The Giants haven't had a dangerous run game since Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw highlighted the backfield, and it is time to break that stigma surrounding this team. Barkely can do this in more ways than one, and he would be the spark that vaults them out of the black hole that has become their 2017 season.
Barkley would make the Giants better now, not years down the road. And with the second pick in the draft, he will likely be sitting on the draft board, all wrapped up, and ready for the Giants to take him.