New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is one of the figures at the center of a media firestorm surrounding New York City.
He’s also one of the figures at the center of the Giants’ draft.
Right now, we don’t know what the Giants plan to do with the second overall pick in April’s draft. They could well take a quarterback — and considering Eli Manning’s age and the financial realities of the position, there are many who believe that is the right move. But on top of the decision regarding which quarterback they like best, they also have openings for each of the top prospects.
The failure to sign Andrew Norwell and the decision to allow Justin Pugh to leave via free agency created a clear opening for Quenton Nelson at his natural position of right guard.
The decision to trade Jason Pierre-Paul created a hole in the defense that could be filled by Bradley Chubb.
The Giants have also committed themselves to Eli Manning as well as improving their running game, which could open the door for running back Saquon Barkley.
Asked about Barkley at the owner’s meeting, Gettleman couldn’t help but gush.
Dave Gettleman was absolutely glowing today when talking about Saquon Barkley: "He's big, he's powerful, he can step on the gas, he's got different levels of speed, he catches the heck out of the ball and he gets the blitz pickup stuff. He's real."— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 27, 2018
All of that is true, regarding Barkley. He was considered a freak simply based off of film, then backed it up with one of the most impressive combine performances in recent memory. Barkley has good vision (though he often uses it to try and find the home-run play, rather than “settling” for a 4-5 yard gain), an incredible blend of agility, explosiveness, and long speed, is a polished receiver, is a dangerous returner, and pass protects better than many offensive linemen. He can help an offense on any, and every, down.
The Gettleman clearly has a tremendous respect for him, and the Giants’ interest is real.
But while the appreciation for Barkley could be real, it’s also possible that Gettleman’s overt, and vaguely uncharacteristic, gushing over Barkley is part of a dance behind the scenes.
One final potential move for the Giants is a trade down. It has been widely suspected that the Cleveland Browns will take Barkley at fourth overall if they take a quarterback with their first pick, and QBs are selected with the second and third picks. However, they have more than enough draft capital to move up and secure a player who could be their new quarterback’s best friend if they are at all worried that the Giants might select him.
‘Tis the season for speculation, and the second overall pick might not be as boring as it once seemed.