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2018 Draft: Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny, more quarterback chatter

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Let’s look at some of the stories that could impact the Giants

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

The feeling in the NFL media is a little bit more over the place then you would expect for the New York Giants sitting at No. 2 in the draft as there is usually a bit more universally accepted understanding of the direction the No. 2 pick is leading. As of now though we’re all wondering if the Giants are even going quarterback, whether they are planning on trading back to No. 12 with the Bills, or whether or not their love for Saquon Barkley will allow them the courage to take a running back second overall.

With Jason Pierre-Paul being traded the question also arises if perhaps defensive end Bradley Chubb is the apple of their eye. If the Giants do indeed take a QB second overall would they consider a player like Mason Rudolph, who is very confident that NFL Teams like him more than the media thinks.

  • I’m a fan of Josh Rosen, but I also like Josh Allen as well. I just don’t think guys like that come around all that often. The biggest concern with Allen is his accuracy, and at least one NFL executive doesn’t see it as a real problem, as he tells Daniel Jeremiah:

Josh Allen is the best quarterback in this draft. I think all of the talk about his accuracy is the most overblown thing out there. His guys don’t get open, which causes a lot of the incompletions -- it’s not an accuracy issue.” -- NFC executive

Sometimes the guys with the big arm turn out to be Jeff George, but sometimes they turn out to be Matthew Stafford. Stafford’s completion percentage in his three years at Georgia (where they have actual NFL caliber players): 52.7, 55.7, 61.4. Sometimes it’s about a guy trying to do much making difficult throws to throw guys open or forcing the ball to win. I’ll also say this — scouts who travel to these schools get a good feel for these guys, much better than I do by relying on YouTue highlights.

  • San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny has an official pre-draft visit scheduled with the New York Giants. Penny led the NCAA in rushing yards this year, has kickoff return experience and has been a reliable enough receiver out of the backfield. The Giants will most certainly put an emphasis on upgrading the running back position at some point this off-season, hopefully aging Jonathan Stewart won’t be the highlight addition.
  • Quarterbacks are all the rage in the NFL draft (and for good reason, this is the best quarterback prospect class since 2014 by a wide margin in my humble opinion), but not all these stories will end as fairy tales. A few will be nightmares. With that in mind, CBS sports highlighted their five biggest QB busts in the BCS era. The No. 1 choice is a bit peculiar (because it’s not Jamarcus Russell)
  • One of the most interesting statistics that tends to predict success for the NFL players is Speed Score. Speed Score is a metric used for running backs that combines athletic numbers with a players size a 100 is considered a good baseline. Under Jerry Reese, Speed Score was an important metric for the Giants.

Who are the recent headliners and what were their speed scores? Last year’s number one speed score belonged to Leonard Fournette who managed a terrific 116, Elliot’s was an impressive 113, Karlos Williams had a 114 (David Johnson was second that year had a 109), Leveon Bell had a 110 in 2013, Fournette, Elliot, and Johnson are considered amazing size/speed combination players who make life difficult for defenders. Bell too is big, fast and tough to bring down.

That’s what makes Barkley’s 124.3 speed score so mind-boggling. I’m not sure if a running back is now worth the No. 2 pick in the draft (especially because I like these quarterbacks), but Barkley is about as sure as a future top starter in the NFL there ever is that enters the draft. Only Knile Davis who ran a sub 4.4 40-yard dash as a close comparable to Barkley’s anytime recently. As an aside mentioned above is San Diego State’s Penny score is 111.