Unless you have been living under a rock, as a fan of the New York Giants, you would know by now that the 2017 season for the Giants that originally started with SuperBowl aspirations did not go anywhere near what Giants management and their fans thought it would go. They finished the season with a 3-13 record, their worst in the history of their franchise and now have the 2nd overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft, the dilemma here is do the Giants go for the best player available, or do they go for the QB of the future, Giants fans seem to be split into these 2 categories, win now or plan for the future. So what should the Giants do?
The answer to what the Giants should do in the 2018 NFL draft is not a simple one, with the 2nd overall pick in the draft, new Giants general manager David Gettleman has said that the pick should be someone that you can envision wearing a gold jacket, which means that player you select at 2 has a shot to one day be in the NFL Hall of Fame.
The Giants need to make this pick asking themselves are they much closer to the team they were in 2016 when they went 11-5 or this past season when they went 3-13? Do the Giants really have a chance to make the playoffs this season after their worst season in the history of their franchise? In 2016, the Giants had a record of 11-5 behind a dominant defense that finished 2nd in the league in points allowed per game behind only the New England Patriots allowing only 17.8 points per game. However, the offense was another story averaging 19.3 points per game with many of that coming because of turnovers from the defense, or the defense actually scoring points themselves with takeaways that turned into touchdowns.
So what exactly happened in 2017? Why should the Giants believe they be a playoff team in 2018 after a 3-13 season?.. Well first lets start with what the Giants did not have, the Giants did not have elite WR Odell Beckham JR after Game 5 of the season as he went down with a fractured ankle and was lost for the season, not only that but in the same game the Giants also lost Brandon Marshall for the season also with a leg injury, as well as WR Sterling Shepard who ended up missing 6 games himself, this combined with an offensive line that was putrid and changing from game to game, as well as a putrid running game and the Giants losing key players like Landon Collins, Oliver Vernon and Janoris Jenkins on defense led the Giants to their worst season in franchise history.
Now that we got that outta the way, so what exactly do the Giants do with the 2nd overall pick? The answer seems simple doesn’t it? They have a 37 year old QB that had one of his worst seasons ever and clearly looked on the decline without the talent he’s used to around him, he could not get anything out of his offense that included TE Evan Engram and WR Roger Lewis as his top two targets. However, what about 3rd round pick Davis Webb that former coach Ben Mcadoo refused to play even in a lost season the Giants were experiencing instead going to journeyman Geno Smith at the expense of Eli Manning’s consecutive game streak which was a key component in making the locker room even more divided?. What about the 2016 season when Eli had Odell Beckham JR, but still with a mediocre offensive line and still a putrid running game? What about the 2 games this year in 2017 that Manning had against the Eagles where he threw over 400 yards against the Super Bowl Champions?
The 2018 QB class is full of talented prospects, but all with flaws. Sam Darnold is considered the number one QB prospect in this class, but his sophmore season was a far cry from his year in USC as a freshman, Darnold’s biggest knock is ball security issues and sometimes he tries to do too much and throws interceptions, sound familar Giants fans? He sounds exactly like what Eli Manning a 2X Super Bowl champion’s issues. The next best QB prospect is Josh Rosen who some believe is the most polished QB and most ready prospect since Andrew Luck was taken number 1 overall. The knock on Rosen is some believe he has to be challenged, and that football isn’t the most important thing to him, and some question his leadership because of that, there are also the concussions that he suffered in college. Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen both who appear to be long shots for the Giants round out the top QB prospects in the class.
Now we get to the positions prospects that most scouts believe is where the Giants are leaning with the 2nd overall pick. First and foremos there is the explosive RB from Penn State who not only can do it on the field, but he also shows strong leadership qualities and is a well spoken man from interviews he’s had Saquon Barkley. Barkley before the combine, was a guaranteed top 10 pick, his combine did nothing to hurt that, in fact it turned Barkley into a top 5 pick with some scouts believing that he’s the best prospect in this entire draft. In the past, it has been hard to justify taking a RB so high, but that might have changed over the last few years when the Jaguars took RB Lenoard Fournette 4th overall and the Dallas Cowboys took Ezekiel Elliot also 4th overall, Le Veon Bell is the best running back in the NFL and he’s seeking a massive payday, if the Giants believe that Saquon Barkley is the next Leveon Bell could they pass up on him because of value of the pick at #2 and that very few RBS (Marshall Faulk and Emmitt Smith) were top picks that ended up being a Super Bowl champion, The belief is you can find RB talent in the later rounds, and in 2017 Kareem Hunt a 3rd round pick for the Kansas City Chiefs proved that to be correct, but is there anyone in these later rounds that is even close to Barkley who some believe is the next Adrien Peterson? If the Giants believe he’s the next Adrien Peterson then wouldn’t coach Pat Shumur love to add him to his offense that will include Odell Beckham JR, Sterlin Shepard, Evan Engram, Wayne Gallman among others?
The other 2 best positions prospects are Defensive End Bradley Chubb from NC State and Guard Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame. Some scouts believe that Bradley Chubb is a better defensive prospect that Myles Garett who in his rookie year had 7 sacks in 11 games played. The Giants traded Jason Pierre Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 3rd round pick and to mostly shed most of the money the Giants owed to Jason Pierre Paul. The Giants traded Paul so they need another pass rusher especially since the team combined for an abysmal 27 sacks this past season with Jason Pierre Paul. Do the Giants go with Bradley Chubb and ask him to be what they thought they would get from Jason Pierre Paul when he was drafted? Then there’s guard Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame who scouts believe is someone you can count on to anchor the OL for a decade, fans wonder if just like taking a RB at 2 can you justify taking a guard at 2 even if they turn into an all pro year in and year out? Is the value there? David Gettleman loves his “hog mollies” and Quenton Nelson (6″5 329) absolutely fits that critera, he is also very athletic for a big man and also what some describe as a cant miss prospect.
One thing is for sure, the Giants might never pick this high again, do they take the chance and go with their QB of the future in Darnold, Rosen, Allen or Mayfield and give up on 3rd round pick Davis Webb who Pat Shumur and David Gettleman have both admitted they liked what they’ve seen from him on tape? Does general manager David Gettleman and coach Pat Shumur want their own QB to build around, or do the Giants go with their top position prospect whether it be Barkley, Chubb or Nelson and take a few more shots with Eli Manning at the helm before giving way to Davis Webb or hunt for another QB? One thing is for sure the Giants have a dilemma here, and they can’t afford to miss with the 2nd overall pick.