Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley had himself a solid debut this past Sunday with 106 rushing yards and his first career touchdown run. But, when it comes to New York rookies, it was Jets QB Sam Darnold that got the most attention.
Darnold led the Jets to a rout of the Lions on Monday night, and it brought about the conversation of the Giants passing on the 21-year-old signal caller to take Barkley in this year's Draft. Some believed the Giants should have gone after a quarterback with the veteran Eli Manning winding down his career.
However, GM Dave Gettleman proved the Giants are in win-now mode by taking Barkley. And S Landon Collins believes that was the better pick anyway.
"I feel like we made the better choice," Collins told The Post's Steve Serby.
"Sam Darnold is becoming a good quarterback for the Jets, and they made a good pick for them. But we feel like we needed a running back, and we made a good pick after we saw what he showcased this past Sunday."
Collins made sure to point out that it isn't his job to choose what direction the franchise decides to go in the Draft.
"That's upstairs, and they gotta answer that question, I can't answer that," he said when asked if a franchise quarterback is more important than a running back. "I feel like we made the right choice picking Saquon, and that's the best for our organization."
The stat sheet provided the obvious good about Barkley's debut, but it was the tape that ultimately showed everyone why the Giants took him No. 2 overall. His cuts, breakout speed, and power that he showcased in college was all on full display Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Darnold's skill set was on tape as well. His ability to stay calm in the pocket, scramble and make the right throw, and have great touch when he releases was all there. Giants TE Evan Engram saw both performances, and he ultimately agrees with Collins in the end.
"Definitely," Engram said when asked if he would've drafted Barkley over Darnold. "I wouldn't change one thing about this team now."
Engram set up a key block for Barkley to break free for his 68-yard touchdown run. The Giants' 2017 first-rounder loves what he has seen from the Penn State product so far.
"He's in the game, he's a really energetic guy," Engram said. "He's gonna make sure we're up. He's really vocal in the huddle as well. And he's a big playmaker that can give us some juice, give us some momentum. He's a real level-headed guy, he doesn't really get too caught up, or plays the next play, and he's a good guy to have on the team."
At the end of the day, the Giants believed Manning still has the game in him to make them a playoff contender, which is why they didn't pull the trigger on a potential successor like Darnold. His teammates believe so too.
"We all believe Eli can still play," Collins said.
As the weeks go by, though, the Darnold-Barkley comparison will surely continue.