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Daniel Jeremiah mock draft 1.0: Saquon Barkley to the Giants

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Could the Giants pass on a quarterback at second overall?

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Penn State vs Washington Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

North of 90 percent of the mock drafts to come out between now and April 26th will have the New York Giants taking a quarterback with the second overall pick. But for me, the more interesting scenarios happen if they choose to pass on a quarterback and take one of the top non-quarterback talents available.

That is exactly what former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com does in his first mock draft of 2018.

2 - New York Giants

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

I could easily see the Giants addressing the quarterback spot here, but instead they opt for the best player in the draft.

Raptor’s Take

As I’ve previously noted, there are four non-quarterbacks on whom I am completely sold: Quenton Nelson (OG, Notre Dame), Bradley Chubb (RB, NC State), Minkah Fitzpatrick (DB, Alabama), and Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State).

I wouldn’t have a problem with the Giants drafting any of them at second overall.

Some will scoff at the idea of taking a running back second overall when productive running backs can be found later in the draft. However, players with Barkley’s athletic profile and sterling reputation (on and off the field) simply aren’t found later in the draft. He might be listed as a running back, but Barkley is productive on all four downs, moving the ball as a runner, receiver, and returner — and has the potential to be even more productive on an offense where he isn’t the only real threat. The Giants are a team that hasn’t scored 30 points in 33 games, over two years. Could they afford to turn their nose up at a player that racked up 2,329 yards and 23 touchdowns in one season just because he plays running back?

Now, before anyone has a fit over the very idea that the Giants might draft Barkley: This is all make-believe. Nothing has happened yet. There is still plenty of time between now and the draft, not to mention free agency. It’s possible that the Giants could address the offensive line and be so impressed with Davis Webb’s work ethic and progress that a quarterback simply isn’t perceived as a need. We don’t know either way, and that is no reason for anyone to lose their mind over a mock draft in January.