Former Giants DE Justin Tuck still refers to his former team like he is putting the pads on next season.
Tuck, a Giants Ring of Honor member, used "we" and "us" when asked questions about the Giants upcoming season. And, of course, one of those questions was about the team's No. 2 overall pick in RB Saquon Barkley.
"I love the pick. I think he was the best overall player in this draft," Tuck told SNY's Justine Ward at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "It's hard to get any more value out of a pick at 2, being that high in the draft. But I think should have been the No. 1 pick anyway. So I feel good about that selection."
The Giants haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Tuck's teammate, Ahmad Bradshaw, had one back in 2012. That is why Tuck sees Barkley as a need in the backfield, especially with his dynamic abilities.
"He's definitely a need for us and he's a dynamic player," he said. "He's from this area. I know the Giants fanbase is going to love him. I expect big things out of him."
Tuck also touched on his former quarterback in Eli Manning, who will enter his 15th season this year. He believes Manning still has years left in his veteran arm -- that is as long as he stays healthy.
"Barring any injury, I think Eli has a lot of years left," Tuck said. "He's done a really good job of keeping his body in top condition throughout his entire career. He's been lucky and fortunate not to have any major injuries."
To avoid any injury this season, GM Dave Gettleman made some serious upgrades to the offensive line including free-agent pickups Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh as well as drafting G Will Hernandez 34th overall. Tuck thinks a combination of the reinforced line and Barkley will help Manning in years to come.
"He can't take the hits he's taken over the last couple of years," Tuck said. "I think what we did as far as trying to sure up our O-line, hopefully getting him a running game with the Barkley pick. But yeah, I think Eli has a lot left in the tank."
But Tuck couldn't talk about just the offense with his defensive background. The Giants' front four looks a little different this season with Jason Pierre-Paul -- a former teammate of Tuck's -- was traded to the Buccaneers this offseason. But Gettleman went out and got former Cardinals OLB Kareem Martin as well as drafting Georgia OLB Lorenzo Carter, N.C. State DT B.J. Hill, and Miami DT R.J. McIntosh to bolster the defensive line.
When it comes to pass rusher, Tuck says there's no such thing as too many.
"I mean, you can never have too many of those. In my time as being a Giant, we had a really big assortment of those guys," he said. "I love the third-round pick of Carter out of Georgia. I think he kinda fits the mold of being a guy who can get after the passer. But that was a weakness for our defense last year…So yeah, we could always use more pass rushers."
Based off the moves Tuck elaborated on, the Giants are certainly in win-now mode. And he, along with the rest of Big Blue Nation, are hoping it pays off in 2018.