The 2018 NFL Draft is getting closer — now just ten days away. But as we inch closer to draft night, it seems as though there is only more uncertainty about what will happen at the top of the draft.
At the heart of that uncertainty is the New York Giants sitting at number two overall. They will have their pick of nearly every prospect in the draft, but that pick might well depend on what the Cleveland Browns do with the first overall pick.
If the Browns don’t pick Sam Darnold, quarterback out of USC, the assumption has been that he would become a Giant with the very next pick.
However, ESPN’s Louis Riddick, who was Dave Gettleman’s only real competition for the Giants’ general manager job this winter, believes that there is at least some disagreement among the Giants’ brass over what to do with the second pick.
“My feeling is there’s a strong, strong, strong sentiment in the building for Saquon [Barkley], based on my experience there, if you know what I mean,” Riddick said while on a conference call Monday.
Riddick added that if it were up to him, Barkley would be the pick, saying that he would help both the offense and the defense.
Riddick said, “I think he will help Eli because he will give him someone who he can turn around and hand the ball to 25-28 times a game.”
“His versatility,” he added, “as far as being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, his willingness to pass protect, his ability to help the offense overall as far as ball control which will make the defense better, I think he presents something that can really help this football team not just offensively but defensively as well because of how complementary team football comes into play.”
He also said that NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb would also get strong consideration.
He added that while the potential find Eli Manning’s successor shouldn’t be discounted, he doesn’t believe that any of the options at quarterback are “transcendent players”.
It is a sentiment that Peter King of Sports Illustrated echoed in his weekly MMQB article, saying, “I can’t say with certainty, but I believe GM Dave Gettleman has looked at the five top quarterbacks in this draft and found flaws in each one. Now, he may love one quarterback, even if it’s not a perfect one, and if he’s there at two, who knows? But those who know Gettleman believe he would not use the second pick in a draft on a flawed player, particularly when he has a quarterback who is healthy and has won two Super Bowls—though Eli Manning has not played well in recent years—and a quarterback he never got to see last year (rookie Davis Webb)—because of stupid Giants’ decision-making in the last month of a lost season.”
He added that Gettleman would have to be considering either Chubb, who has been consistently productive and has the ability to be a high-quality bookend for Olivier Vernon, or Barkley, who with Odell Beckham Jr. Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram would give the Giants a quartet of young explosive playmakers on offense.
Neither Riddick nor King believe that the Giants would trade down. King bases his statement on Gettleman’s lack of a track record with regards to trades, while Riddick says that the Giants are in a “Can’t lose” position with the second pick