If the New York Giants had passed on current general manager Dave Gettleman and opted for ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, we can guarantee that one specific player would be drafted in the coming days.
Nonetheless, Riddick is still speculating ahead of the draft like the rest of us, but the former GM candidate for John Mara and co. would go after Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
According to Riddick, it’s not just him who thinks Barkley is a prime candidate for the Giants, but executives within the organization seem to think so as well.
“I have a feeling that there is a strong, strong, strong sentiment within that building for Saquon Barkley based upon my experience there, if you know what I mean.”
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To be fair, Barkley has it all — Speed, athleticism, strength, vision, and a stellar personality. There’s nothing not to like about the stud running back, but the only thing standing in the Giants’ way of selecting him is a potential franchise quarterback.
“I think the Giants are sitting in a spot where they can’t lose if they stay where they are.”
By staying put at No. 2, the Giants have access to nearly the entire crop of blue chip players, whether that’s UCLA’s Josh Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Penn States’ Saquon Barkley, or North Dakota’s Bradley Chubb.
“I think Saquon Barkley is just a special kid, I really do,” Riddick said. “I think he will help Eli because he will give him someone who he can turn around and hand the ball off to between 25 and 28 times a game.”
In college, Barkley only averaged about 15 carries per-game, which is far less than the 25-28 Riddick projected for him in the NFL. The reason Barkley had minimal carries was due to the defenses game plan. The opposing defense would often stack the box and play according to Barkley’s influence. This is why Penn State used their star running back in the passing game frequently.
For the Giants, he would immediately impact their run game, passing game, and protection of Eli Manning. His strength and linebacker frame would assist greatly in keeping Manning upright and able. Overall, selecting Barkley is an immediate upgrade to the offense, but again, this all comes down to whether the Giants brass believe Davis Webb can be the future of the franchise, or not.