Saquon Barkley is the #1 running back in the 2018 NFL Draft, and impressed everyone with 29 reps on the bench press Thursday. He’s going to be a 3-down back, having displayed the ability to run, catch and block in the same way that Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliot do.
He’ll probably run the 40 in about 4.5, right in the Elliott (4.47) and Gurley (4.52) range.
That being said … the New York Giants can’t take Barkley 2nd in the draft. It’s the sexy pick right now among guys who generate mock drafts, but remember, it’s smokescreen season.
The last time there was talk about a QB other than Eli Manning under center for the Giants … let’s just say it wasn’t well-received. The media flipped out. Fans lost their minds. A coach got fired. A GM got fired.
Eli Manning must be handled with kid gloves because A) he’s won two Super Bowls for the Giants, B) he’s 37, and everyone knows he’s washed, but the perception is he’s done enough for the franchise to not get shoved out.
This is why you’re not hearing about Josh Rosen and the Giants at the Combine. The Giants have done a fantastic job at getting the word out to the media: Saquon Barkley is in play!
Come on. You can’t pass up a franchise QB in a very good draft for QBs and take a running back. Remember, in the draft when the Rams took Gurley, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota went 1-2, and then a QB wasn’t taken until the 3rd round. When Ezekiel Elliott went 4th to Dallas, the Cowboys were set at QB with Tony Romo (and then he got hurt in preseason).
The Giants absolutely cannot pass on their QB of the future to take a running back 2nd. The Colts can take Barkley 3rd; they have their QB for the next 5-10 years. The Browns possibly could take Barkley 4th if they land Kirk Cousins in free agency or take Sam Darnold 1st in the draft. The Giants, in a position to do so since, well, they traded up for Eli in 2004, have to find their quarterback.