If Saquon Barkley goes first, Giants are in the draft’s catbird seat


If the Browns do fall in love with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and take him first overall, the happiest man in the league might be Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman.

It’s not that he doesn’t like Barkley — he’s clearly not buying the “running backs are devalued” narrative — but it would put him in the driver’s seat for the rest of the 2018 NFL Draft.

With the second overall pick, Gettleman could have any heir he chose to succeed Eli Manning, or more likely, have the most valuable trade chip in the market for all the teams that have a more immediate need for a quarterback.

“Are we open for business?” Gettleman said with a grin last week at the Scouting Combine. “Any decision I make is going to be in the best interest of the New York Giants, plain and simple. If someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse, would I move back? It depends upon who is there.”

The Giants have multiple needs, but there’s no sense that they’re prepared to move on from Manning anytime soon. So if someone wanted to get to the second pick to have their choice of the quarterbacks, it’s clear Gettleman will listen.

Last year, the 49ers chiseled a third, a fourth and a future third-rounder from the Bears to move down one spot, so the Bears could take Mitchell Trubisky. The year before, the Eagles gave the Browns five picks in the effort to acquire Carson Wentz and a fourth-rounder. That package included their first, third, and fourth-rounders in 2016 as well as their 2017 first-rounder and 2018 second-rounder.

The key for Gettleman will be how far down the line to go. To put the kind of team around Manning to justify keeping him, they’d need to add some top-shelf talent, which means he can’t drop too far down the order. If they can gain assets and still add a game-changer such as defensive end Bradley Chubb or guard Quenton Nelson, Gettleman would have to be intrigued.

17 responses to “If Saquon Barkley goes first, Giants are in the draft’s catbird seat

  1. .
    This year’s draft promises to be very exciting. Among the draft devotees there’s very little consensus on the top five picks. And with all the possible trade options, we’re not even sure who the first five teams to choose will be. Things should be somewhat clearer after free agency, but I would still expect a lot of chaos at the top of the draft.

  2. I don’t know that I agree with this analysis, at least that it depends on what the Browns do at #1. With his pick he already has that kind of leverage, especially if you believe as I do that the QBs don’t have a lot of separation between them, or particular upside. This isn’t the class of 1983.

    G can trade for more picks whenever he wants to, pick up some good players to extend Eli’s career and look like a genius. I don’t think that getting a Barkley or an eventual replacement for Eli is going to change the Giants’ fortunes in 2018. So wht not make the most of it?

  3. The Browns were always taking Barkley first. Look how Elliot made Prescott look all world and in his absence, look like someone battling for a job.

    The Giants will take him 2nd if the Browns don’t. Otherwise, the Giants will trade the pick to the Jets or Broncos or maybe even the Browns. That way they can rebuild a line in one draft plus signing Norwell. Win/Win either way for the Giants.

    I do know they won’t move up a spot in this draft, if offered a chance, like Chicago foolishly did last year.

    The Browns just might end up with Darnold at #4, anyway. Or whichever they happen to like.

  4. As per the 83 draft.

    Elway was the clear cut #1.

    Kelly signed with the USFL and was tied with Marino (on the depth chart, in my mind at the time). But Marino did below average for QB’s on the wonderlic (which people forget) and the weed rumors.

    Eason . I’m sure they call him a bust in NE. But they were awful before and then a few good years and then awful again. Semi bust. Whatever.

    O’Brien got David Carred before David Carr came along. O’Brien was highly accurate. But not in the the big 3’s class. But he got the snot beat out of him.

    Blackledge was a bust.

    Basically 3 HOF QB’s , 1 serious bust, 1 semi bust and then O’Brien who had some great stats but the Jets just never had an oline in those days and had he been on a real team would have had a better career.

    PS: Still can’t believe the Steelers passed on Marino.

  5. The Giants would move from #2 to #4 for the Browns 2nd round pick and a 3rd rounder. Maybe more because I really believe the Giants want Barkley but Nelson at 4 plus a RB AND another pick. Looks like 2 Guards and on LT in the first round, so the Giants might have a shot at whoever they think is the 2nd best LT in the class.

    Browns get Barkley and their QB. If they are in love with one of them. Will Dorsey fall for the underwear olympic show Allen put on? Maybe he is the real deal. Hopefully the Browns thinks so (Giant fan, here, obviously).

  6. backintheday99 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 8:43 am
    The Browns were always taking Barkley first. Look how Elliot made Prescott look all world and in his absence, look like someone battling for a job.


    Tell this to all the experts who post here saying that RBs are a dime a dozen and aren’t worth anything.

  7. This post has it backwards. If the Browns pass on taking a QB at #1, that is a strong indicator that this is a draft class that lacks a rare slam-dunk QB at the top. Because this is a deep class of clear franchise-caliber QB prospects, if there is no standout guy then teams would be hesitant to pay an “offer that can’t be refused” to the Giants. Better to deal up to #3-5 at a lower cost, if even, then move up to #2 to get “your pick” of a bunch of equal guys. Gettleman has made it clear he’ll move the pick if someone presents a Wentz or RGIII type offer, but those offers came in years when Wentz and Griffin were the last franchise-type QBs available with a giant dropoff afterward. So if the Browns do NOT take a QB at #1, that signals that the #2 is worth less, not more. If, however, the Browns take a QB at #1, then list of QB prospects would already start to shorten, and so a team might be motivated to hop up to #2.

  8. amaf21 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 9:15 am
    kijana carter, curtis enis, dj dozer – end of story.
    The last of those guys was drafted during the Clinton administration. In case you don’t follow the news, there have been a few changes at PSU since then.

    If some team passes on Barkley because another Penn State RB who was drafted before he was born didn’t work out, then you can stop wondering why that team is drafting at the top of the first round.

  9. amaf21 says:
    March 5, 2018 at 9:15 am

    kijana carter, curtis enis, dj dozer – end of story.


    Curt Warner, Franco Harris, Lydell Mitchell, Larry Johnson – there are two sides to every story.

  10. amaf21 says:

    March 5, 2018 at 9:15 am

    kijana carter, curtis enis, dj dozer – end of story.
    Yeah, you shouldn’t take Barkley because of what happened with guys from the same college that were drafted 23 years ago (Carter), 31 years ago (DOzier), and 20 years ago (Enis). Why not throw John Cappelletti (44 yrs ago) in there too?

  11. I have a certain fascination with the Browns.
    If they pass yet again on a QB I will be very happy.
    I just love perpetual 2-14 (+/- 2 wins) teams.
    Year in year out, it doesn’t matter.

    Who needs a QB? Just run on every play! And the beauty is – if they are wrong – they get to pick #1 next year.
    And the next.
    And the next.

    step 1) Trade down for more draft picks,
    step 2) draft more underperfoming plays,
    step 3) Goto step 1

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