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2018 NFL Draft: What will Giants do with No. 2 overall pick?

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Right now, there appear to be three viable approaches

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Penn State v Washington
Saquon Barkley
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

We know that the New York Giants will have the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. We know that GM Dave Gettleman will run the draft scouting process himself. What we don’t know, of course, is what the Giants will do with that second overall pick.

Chris briefly laid out the three options the Giants have. Let’s examine them in more detail.

Draft a quarterback

When you are draft second overall and your starting quarterback is 36 and just finished his 14th season quarterback obviously has to be in the discussion. Question is, when he’s done watching film of Eli Manning and the 2018 quarterback class will Gettleman conclude that has ABSOLUTELY MUST draft a quarterback at No. 2?

As of right now, working off the belief that Gettleman and whoever will be coaching the Giants next season want Manning as the quarterback, I do not believe it’s a “draft a quarterback no matter what” circumstance. A good idea? Sure. IF a quarterback Gettleman and the head coach are in love with is there.

Taking a quarterback at No. 2 just to take a quarterback, just to say you have put Manning’s successor in place, isn’t the right idea. Especially with a pick that high, and that valuable. If the right guy is available, and we will all have differences of opinion about who that right guy is, you make that move. If not, you do something else.

Like draft running back Saquon Barkley

There are a healthy number of Giants fans beating the drum for the Penn State running back. The Big Blue View Rules for Draft Success have always included the idea that drafting running backs in the first round, especially really early in the first round, is a bad idea. Unless that running back turns out to be a franchise-altering superstar.

Here is what I wrote last year:

Why no first-round running backs? The NFL game no longer revolves around the running back, that's the biggest reason. Offenses revolve around the quarterback, the offensive line and the wide receivers. Running backs share the load, with most teams employing two or three and very few dominating the percentage of rushing attempts for his team. Look at offenses, and most of your running backs play fewer snaps than anyone else.

So, unless you believe the player is an instant superstar or the one missing piece to your offense, where is the value in using a first-round selection on a running back who will be on the field less than any member of your offense except the fullback? Historically, there are always plenty of quality running backs available in the middle of the draft. Take one then, and use your first pick on an impact player who should, eventually, play every snap.

Is Barkley talented enough to break that rule? Many of you believe he is. I have seen the highlights, but I haven’t really watched enough to form a full opinion. I keep going back-and-forth on the idea of the Giants choosing Barkley No. 2. Right now, I’m going to stick to my rules and say no.

Why?

Because it feels like a luxury pick, for a team that doesn’t have that luxury. For years, the Giants have made the mistake of prioritizing shiny, play-making toys over the “hog mollies,” over the guys who actually give those play-makers a chance to succeed. That misguided approach is a major part of the reason why the Giants have been to the playoffs just once in six years, and why they sank to a miserable 3-13 in 2017.

Dave Gettleman was hired to fix Jerry Reese’s mistakes, not repeat them. Gettleman has already said he has to fix the offensive line. Maybe he can draft Barkley AND figure out a way to do that, but drafting Barkley WITHOUT doing it feels like putting the cart before the horse.

Trade down

If the quarterback you really, really want isn’t there, either taken by the Cleveland Browns at No. 1 or electing not to declare for the draft, and Barkley isn’t your cup of tea, this seems like an obvious move. Maybe you can justify taking NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb or the best offensive lineman in the draft here.

This, though, feels like a prime position to maneuver with. Gettleman was not afraid to maneuver during the five drafts he conducted with the Carolina Panthers.

The Denver Broncos have the fifth pick and the New York Jets the sixth. Both are quarterback-needy. If you can get the fifth overall pick, plus Denver’s second (40th) and third-round (71st) picks would that be worth it? How about the sixth overall picks and two second-rounders (37th and 49th) from the Jets?

The aforementioned ‘Big Blue View Rules for Draft Success’ favor trading down:

There are very few times when any player is worth trading up for, thus causing a team to mortgage valuable draft picks. You need depth in the NFL, and you can't accumulate it by trading away your draft choices -- which is what you have to do to move up. Generally, it is better to move down and accumulate more draft choices than to move up and wind up with less. Your mistakes hurt less when you have more choices, more chances to get it right. You can take risks on occasion when you have more choices, and -- if the situation is right -- you can actually use some of those 'extra' picks to move up when you feel it is warranted.

When is it OK to move up? If you are moving into the top 10 for a guy you believe is a franchise-changer or the one piece you need to put you over the top and into the Super Bowl, that is OK. Also, if you have accumulated extra picks perhaps then you can use that flexibility to target a player or two in the draft or via trade. This, really, could be called the 'New England Patriots Rule.'

We will have plenty of time to debate not only the right players, but the right approach. Today, more than four months from the draft, what would you do?

2018 NFL Draft order

# Team W L T W% SoS %
# Team W L T W% SoS %
1 Browns 0 16 0 0 0.5195
2 Giants 3 13 0 0.188 0.5313
3 Colts 4 12 0 0.25 0.4805
4 Browns (via Texans) 4 12 0 0.25 0.5156
5 Broncos 5 11 0 0.313 0.4922
6 Jets 5 11 0 0.313 0.5195
7 Buccaneers 5 11 0 0.313 0.5547
8 Bears 5 11 0 0.313 0.5586
t-9 49ers 6 10 0 0.375 0.5117
t-9 Raiders 6 10 0 0.375 0.5117
11 Dolphins 6 10 0 0.375 0.543
12 Bengals 7 9 0 0.438 0.4648
13 Washington 7 9 0 0.438 0.5391
14 Packers 7 9 0 0.438 0.5391
15 Cardinals 8 8 0 0.5 0.4883
16 Ravens 9 7 0 0.563 0.4414
17 Chargers 9 7 0 0.563 0.457
18 Seahawks 9 7 0 0.563 0.4922
19 Cowboys 9 7 0 0.563 0.4961
20 Lions 9 7 0 0.563 0.4961
Currently in playoffs
Titans 9 7 0 0.563 0.4336
Bills 9 7 0 0.563 0.4922
Jaguars 10 6 0 0.625 0.4336
Bills (via Chiefs) 10 6 0 0.625 0.4766
Falcons 10 6 0 0.625 0.543
Rams 11 5 0 0.688 0.5039
Saints 11 5 0 0.688 0.5352
Panthers 11 5 0 0.688 0.5391
Steelers 13 3 0 0.813 0.4531
Eagles 13 3 0 0.813 0.4609
Patriots 13 3 0 0.813 0.4844
Vikings 13 3 0 0.813 0.4922