The Giants are less than two weeks away from choosing their first-rounder with the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft. And though many believe drafting Eli Manning's successor is in order for Big Blue, GM Dave Gettleman's "win now" mindset may not warrant a gunslinger in the end.
New York has been setting up private workouts with the top quarterback prospects in Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield, with Darnold visiting the team on Monday followed by Allen Tuesday. But all the quarterback visits may be smoke and mirrors if the Giants have their heart set on another position instead.
"You got to do your due diligence when you're there at second," a source told The Post's Paul Schwartz," if you don't do to these workouts at No. 2 and you really don't have an interest in these guys, then you're tipping your hand."
So what do the Giants have in mind for their top pick? With Gettleman and the rest of the Giants' staff saying Manning has a few years left in the tank, Schwartz doesn't have the Giants with a quarterback in the Top 3 on their draft board. Instead, other needs are in mind, including an asset for Manning to work with.
The best valuable offensive weapon (if the Browns don't pounce on him first) is Penn State RB Saquon Barkley. Barkley is the total package -- quick cuts, bulldozing power, reliable hands, and no off-the-field issues. According to Schwartz, the Giants view him as a better prospect than Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was coming out of Ohio State two years ago.
The Giants are in need of a running back that can regularly perform, and Barkley checks all the boxes which is why he may be Gettleman's top dog.
"I thought all along this is the guy Dave wants," a national NFL scout said. "And he might get him, if Cleveland is dumb enough not to take him at No. 1."
Gettleman has spoken publicly about what Barkley brings to an offense, which he said is a "unique" skillset.
"It's unusual," Gettleman said at the NFL Owners Meetings. "I'm telling you, he can string together moves and get in and out of stuff. It's funny, I (watched film of) him right before I came down. He's unique, no doubt about it. He's big, he's powerful, he can step on the gas, he's got different levels of speed. And he catches the heck out of the ball and he sees the blitz pickup stuff.
"So, you know, he's unique."
It is also worth noting Barkley, who grew up a Jets fan, was wearing a Giants hoodie in a Pennsylvania barber shop over the weekend. The hoodie was a gift to him after a private visit last week.
There are options other than Barkley that could intrigue Gettleman, though. The draft's best pass rusher in N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb is also a favorite in the Giants' eyes. With many running backs like Derrius Guice and Nick Chubb to choose in the later rounds as well as Jason Pierre-Paul being traded away, Chubb doesn't seem to have anyone that can compete with his versatile skillset.
Notre Dame G Quenton Nelson is also likely to be available at No. 2, and if Gettleman wants to add a young "hog mollie" to his offensive line, he is the obvious choice.
But with a heap of talented quarterbacks to choose from, could the Giants really pass up the opportunity to pick one of them? SNY's Ralph Vacchiano and many others believe a quarterback will be called when the Giants are on the clock, with Vacchiano having Darnold going to New York in his Mini Mock Draft.
However, a quarterback -- or any prospect the Giants are thinking of selecting -- needs to check off a major point of emphasis that Gettleman believes comes with such a high pick. He thinks a pick as high as No. 2 warrants Hall of Fame projections, and if he doesn't see that in the player no matter what the scouting report says, then it would be a waste of a pick.
With Barkley -- and even Nelson and Chubb -- projected to see gold jackets in the future, that is the reason Gettleman may not have a quarterback on his mind with his first-round pick.
"I don't think Dave will take a quarterback,'' the national scout said. "I don't see it. I could see Chubb putting on that gold jacket. I could see Nelson putting on that gold jacket. Barkley, no question. If you have a crystal ball and say, 'This guy is gonna be an annual All-Pro and make it to the Hall of Fame,' Barkley would be the No. 1 guy.''