The most controversial decision the New York Giants made last year wasn’t one during the season. Rather, that decision came during the offseason when the team passed on Sam Darnold to spend the second overall pick on Saquon Barkley. It looks like the results of that choice were worth it, with Barkley contending for the rushing title until the very end of the season and now winning the AP Rookie of the Year award along with Baker Mayfield.
That won’t stop the decision from being controversial, though, with the Giants only winning five games despite Barkley’s great performances. With Sam Darnold looking good while playing for the Giants’ crosstown rival, the decision to take the top player on the board rather than a quarterback has been criticized. Now, Barkley himself has responded to those criticisms, speaking to the Rapsheet and Friends podcast.
“I know everyone is saying a quarterback should have been taken before me. And you know, theyâ€™re not wrong. Thatâ€™s their opinion. They can have their opinion. But some people believe I should have been taken at that pick. And theyâ€™re not wrong, either. They can have that opinion,” said Barkley.
Barkley also stated that at the end of the day, his goal is to have success and not to prove anyone wrong. “It was trying to prove more to myself that the Giants made the right pick.”
It was clear that success was on Barkley’s mind based on his performances last season. The Rookie of the Year award was well deserved, and before winning that award, Barkley finished second in total rushing yards and had the best performance in decades from a rookie running back. Time will tell whether or not the Giants made the right move, but based on the numbers, it’s hard to say at this point that they acted unreasonably by passing on a quarterback.