While it’s true that when building a football team the most important position on the field is the quarterback, the old adage is when you have a very high pick you draft on talent over need. You simply put take the best player on your board and the Giants did just that. They had such conviction that general manager Dave Gettleman said he would have put the pick in 30 seconds into their allotted ten minutes if he could have. Everyone from coach Pat Shurmur to owner John Mara were convinced they were picking the right guy.
When the Giants traded for Alec Ogletree and gave up picks to do it many questioned why if they were in rebuilding mode. After all if you’re in a rebuilding mode you usually try to acquire picks not trade them away. Then the Giants signed left tackle Nate Solder away from the Patriots by giving him the most money for an offensive lineman in the league. At that point, it was clear the Giants were trying to win again.
With the Giants believing 37 year old quarterback Eli Manning has years left in him, it makes sense to give him the most talent around him doesn’t it? That’s where Saquon Barkley the human highlight reel comes in. If there was a such thing as a perfect prospect, its Barkley. This kid can literally do it all; run the ball, line up as a slot wide receiver, line up as an outside wide receiver, catch passes out of the backfield and oh yeah he can block like an offensive lineman. He literally can do it all. Also, by all accounts he is a great person with no character issues something the Giants have ran into the last couple of seasons with some draft picks.
Some will say that betting on a 37 year old quarterback is the wrong thing to do, and they could end up having a point. However, if you’re going to take a few more shots with Eli you have to put the best talent around him, that according to almost every board was Barkley.
Finally, whether its Eli Manning, Davis Webb, or some other future QB, when they take the field, they will have the likes of Odell Beckham JR, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and now Saquon Barkley. The good thing about it is Barkley is 21 and will be here for at least 6 years (2 franchise years). He isn’t just a “win now” move no he will also be around for the next quarterback whoever that is. In the meantime, the Giants whether right or wrong still believe in Eli Manning. It’s been said that part of Eli’s problem was not only the offensive line, but the threat of a running game. The Giants haven’t had even a good running game since Tiki Barber. What the Giants did this Thursday night is give Eli Manning what many believe was missing; the threat of a running game. They did that by taking the best overall talent in the draft in Saquon Barkley.