The New York Giants have definitely been one of the more hit or miss teams in the NFL Draft’s first round in recent years. Sometimes, they end up drafting players that could be stars for a long time, such as Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr., even if the latter player didn’t pan out in the long run.
Other times in recent memory, the team has taken players such as Eli Apple or Justin Pugh, who end up playing elsewhere a relatively short time later, with varying degrees of good performance. And in 2015, the team notably spent a top 10 pick on tackle Ereck Flowers, which panned out far worse than most would have imagined at the time and could be called one of the worst picks of the last front office regime.
But out of the players they’ve drafted this decade, which one is the best? According to Touchdown Wire, that title belongs to Saquon Barkley, who burst onto the scene as the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and hasn’t looked back since, quickly becoming the best back on the team and one of the finest in the league. Here’s what they had to say about the pick:
Saquon Barkley was one of the few bright spots for the Giants after being chosen second overall out of Penn State in 2018. Yes, there could be an argument for Odell Beckham Jr. here. However, the overall distractions that eventually led to his trade to the Browns open the door for Barkley.
There’s not much more elaboration but not much is needed when it comes to a player that finished second in the league in rushing and turned the Giants running game around entirely just with his presence on the field. Of course, Beckham has more experience with the Giants despite the trade, but it’s hard to argue that Beckham was the better pick because of the way things ended. It looks very unlikely that Saquon Barkley’s career, however, will feature a trade to the Cleveland Browns or any other team in the middle of his prime.
There’s still a lot of football left to be played in Barkley’s career, but is it crazy to call him the best Giants pick of the 2010s? Based on the way some of the team’s other first round selections have panned out in recent years, not at all.