Giants see Saquon Barkley’s receiving skills as his most impressive asset

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The Giants have been questioned in some quarters for using the second overall pick in the draft on a running back, Saquon Barkley. Does it make sense to put that kind of value on a runner in a passing league?

But the Giants see Barkley as much more than a runner. Writers for the team’s official website are making the case that Barkley’s biggest asset is being a receiver, not a runner, and that seems to be coach Pat Shurmur’s view of Barkley as well.

“The most important thing, and the first thing you look for in a running back is, Can he catch? Does he have ball skills? Because we all know, if we can run them all deep, and if they cover them, sometimes the best matchup on the field is just dropping the ball to the running back,” Shurmur said. “He’s multidimensional and you can play him all three downs.”

The top of this draft feels destined to be analyzed for years, and the Giants’ decision to go with a running back over a quarterback will be scrutinized, especially if Sam Darnold develops into a star with the Jets and Eli Manning proves to be past his prime at age 37. But the Giants think Barkley’s value goes beyond that of a typical player at his position.

49 responses to “Giants see Saquon Barkley’s receiving skills as his most impressive asset

  1. A definite head shaker. Manning at 37, his brothers skills crashed in front of us, and they take a RB?

  2. The Giants weren’t blown away by any of the QBs and especially with Barkley landing in their lap they took the BPA by far. Where is is written that the new qb must be found before the dynamic back? Finding a franchise qb doesn’t mean reaching on one you’re not 100% sold on. As a Giant fan I’m glad I don’t have to listen Rosen whine for the next 4 years.

  3. A definite head shaker. Manning at 37, his brothers skills crashed in front of us, and they take a RB?

    Umm george1859, at least, give the facts. His brother’s skills crashed because he had a major injury. That being said, I do think he gets a little nervous and throws into tighter spots than he should which, I guess is the result when you as a qb know your oline is sh!t. As much as I think the changes on oline have helped I still think Manning will be nervous like at least the first 3 games. That was the difference between Eli and Payton Manning, Payton got pulverized and Eli has surprisingly (considering the oline)avoided those hits. Besides, I hear Davis Webb is pretty good. Also, if the giants are as bad as everyone says they’ll be we’ll have an opportunity to draft a qb next year and potentially have a pat Mahomes situation next year.

  4. Joe Mixon College Statistics (2 Seasons):

    13.8 yards per reception

    9 receiving touchdowns

    6.8 yards per rush

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Saquon Barkley College Statistics (3 Seasons):

    11.7 yards per reception

    8 receiving touchdowns

    5.7 yards per rush

    … and Joe Mixon drafted in the 2nd round.

  5. The Giants won’t pay Beckham… who’s only the best receiver in the league! Why would anyone believe they’d pay Barkley? They pretty much drafted a 6 or 7 year–depending on many franchise tags they use–investment with the 2nd pick in the draft…#FAIL

  6. If they truly think he is a future HoF’er as the GM indicated, then I’m fine with the pick. But second quesding will be based on the next Giants QB plays.

  7. The Giants are right. His skills put him in the category of complete, 3 down workhorse backs the likes of Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, and Todd Gurley. I also think Sony Michel is that type of quality back. Pairing Barkley with Hernandez dropping to the 2nd rd was an absolute coup.

  8. Make make mistake Barkley is a great back but when you take a RB #2 he has to be the best in the game for the next decade to justify not taking a QB. Time will tell but the odds aren’t in his favor.

  9. A definite head shaker. Manning at 37, his brothers skills crashed in front of us, and they take a RB?

    Brother Peyton had major injuries to his neck. Eli has never been hurt. The Giants OL last year as well as all thier receivers hurt and no runningbacks would have made Tom Brady look like Marsha Brady.

  10. Great pick if Barkley can bring any type of a run attack to the giants (which they haven’t had in years) takes some stress off of eli. Who at this point in his career would serve him well handling the ball off 35 times a game.

  11. Well of course. Guy was ab average rusher in college at best. 35 yards rushing a few games ago ar lowly rutgers is not nfl material.

  12. I find that it’s way easier to predict drafts after you see the guys play for a couple years. But yeah, the Giants were fools to take the consensus best player in the entire draft. What idiots.

  13. I just love the fact that they chose a RB (who looks fantastic), so that they can throw to him lots. It’s great to have a guy who is a multiple threat back, but running is still the most important thing a running back does. Giants gonna Giants.

  14. Giants think he is the savior to the franchise and they can believe what they want. I thought the Giants were way to talented to be the 2nd worse team in the NFL last year and I don’t think they will be drafting that low again for awhile so they should have taken one of the stud QBs available and I think they will regret the Barkley pick. I found an article that was interesting and if Giants would have selected a QB at that spot he would have been the 20th highest paid QB and since they selected Barkley he will be the 4th highest paid running back in the league so it’s not like they are getting stellar value for him. 4th highest paid RB contract for someone who hasn’t taken an NFL snap doesn’t seem like the best business decision. But hey it’s the draft and every fan thinks their team is going to the Super Bowl after the draft but the reality is most teams just stay where they are at.

  15. The fans’ reaction to Eli’s Benching and Mara’s reaction to their reaction was all I needed to know that the Giants were going to either take Barkley or trade down.

  16. Biggest head shaker is their 4th and 5th round picks.

    They desperately need a punter and a kicker and could have used those picks which would have gotten them the best 2 in college. Not thrilled with another flyer on a late round QB when the Punter cost them at least 1 game and Kicker cost them more than that. Worst special teams in Giants’ history.

    Both positions will rear their ugly heads, if the Giants stay healthy and do what they can do based on talent. The casual observer sees 3-13. Last year was horrible LT/RT, ST’s and coaching. Add in all the skill position injuries and you go from the playoffs to the top of the draft.

    So R/T is trying to be addressed xas per Flowers (bad plan A). ST’s not addressed at all except for a new ST coach (10 years overdue). But let’s flyers on a project QB and a DT. How about flyers on a Punter/Kicker or RT?

  17. The Giants are kind of right…his most impressive asset is his all-around ability…he’s got elite speed, strength, vision and balance…James Franklin summed it up best…”He’s a bigger, stronger Marshall Faulk “

  18. Nah man, NO WAY A RB goes 2nd overall in todays game, Kamara went 3rd round and was OROY. Anyone justifying this pick are the homers.

    Reggie Bush at 3rd overall in 2006 should have been the nail in coffin for early RB picks. I mean he did decent, played a while, but nowhere near expectations.

  19. “Giants gonna Giants.”

    4 time Superbowl champs. Yeah, they’re stupid.

  20. all you qb lovers seem to forget that “franchise” qbs are not the answer to Super Bowl trophies. Ask Nick Foles, or Trent Dilfer or Jeff Hostetler, to name a few. Ask Dan Marino or Philip Rivers. Team is made up of 11 players. Ask Terry Bradshaw. If any of y’all are old enough to remember it wasn’t Terry that was most instrumental in the Steelers run. A lot of time was spent in determining that there wasn’t a single qb in this draft to drool over but the media hyped them to death. Time will tell, as it did with Brady, who, I must remind y’all was not a #1. Think folks, and you will know why none of you are GMs.

  21. Guys who quote stat sheets on Barkley rarely think he is that good. All that means is you never watched him play. The REASON he did not have very good rushing statistics in some of those games is the defense loaded up the box to stop the run. So the result was a Trace McSorley RPO run or a pass to Saquon out of the backfield. Some of those games with low rushing statistics he had well over 100 yards receiving. The defense simply picked their poison and lost anyway. And that is EXACTLY why the Giants wanted him and drafted him at #2. Time will tell, but if he doesn’t get hurt, Eli now has what he needs. Instead of throwing them all downfield into tight coverage and getting them picked off he now has a home run hitter to check down too, and trust me, Barkley almost always makes the first guy miss.

    I take no comfort in it, I am an Eagles fan, but the Giants did the right thing. They finally have a coach and GM that knows what they are doing. Sounds to me like their D will be the problem this year.

  22. You don’t pick a RB number 2 overall. We(49ers) had the top 5 RB in league history and it didnt translate to too many wins. How many superbowls did Minnesota win with AP, Lions win with Barry Sanders?

    Should have picked a Bradley Chubb or Sam Darnold. Eli is trash.

    To the person that said he’s bigger, stronger version of Faulk……please. Faulk had radar vision, Barry Sanders type elusiveness, and had elite speed. If Faulk played WR he would have been an elite WR. You can not say that about Barkley. Barkley is more like a better version of Javon Ringer, L Bell, not Marshall Faulk.

    The only teams that should be drafting a RB in the top 5 are playoff teams that traded up into the top 5. Not teams that need a QB or a defensive help. and the 49ers played the Giants last year, trust me they’re more than an elite RB away from competing with us.

  23. winningisabrees says:
    May 1, 2018 at 9:09 am
    Nah man, NO WAY A RB goes 2nd overall in todays game, Kamara went 3rd round and was OROY. Anyone justifying this pick are the homers.

    Reggie Bush at 3rd overall in 2006 should have been the nail in coffin for early RB picks. I mean he did decent, played a while, but nowhere near expectations.
    _______________

    Nah man, NO WAY an overhyped QB goes 2nd overall, Foles was undrafted and was Super Bowl MVP.

    Jamarcus Russell at 1st overall in 2007 should have been the nail in the coffin for overhyped QB picks. I mean, he SUCKED.

    Two can play at that game.

  24. This kid is a stud – period. And l am a Cowboys fan.

    I hated it when the Giants took him, as that means two (or possibly more) games every season that we have to face him. The Giants O-Line will be improved, and Barkley has a complete skill set. He is as good a prospect (& could be even better) than Zeke Elliott.

    Arguably the best player in the draft, Barkley was a great pick by the Giants.

  25. I am a huge Eagles fan. Many of my fellow fans think the Barkley pick was the incorrect choice for the Giants. It was not. I have seen him play almost every game in college. He can do everything – including blocking. This kid is a transcendant talent. He will make Kareem Hunt look like an arena league player. The QB’s available just were not worth that pick. The Giants get OBJ back. Eli doesn’t have to be great. The Giants will be improved and are clearly going to be the second best team in the NFC East.

  26. Gil Brandt on 2018 Draft: “I thought the Giants had far and away the best draft. Their first two picks — Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez were among the top-15-ranked players in the 150 list I released before the draft, and they should both be instant starters.”

  27. No matter how you look at it the Giants got terrible value taking Barkley a RB with the #2 pick. With the rookie pay scale in place Barkley being the #2 pick is going to net him over 8 mil in his rookie year. That makes him the 4th highest paid RB in all of the NFL. So there is no possible way for them to get any value outta that pick and amount of money you are paying that position. If he is the best RB in the league next year or top 5 then u theGiants break even. If he is in the middle of the league then they got terrible value.
    If you take a QB at 2 and pay him 8 million a year then your getting tremendous value for your pick and that player is at the bottom in salary for starting QB’s giving the team $ to spend everywhere else stacking up the roster.
    Living in CT I get all the Giants games on TV and having watched them the past couple of seasons I want to know what Eli has showed at age 37 to have everyone thinking he has a couple of productive years left. From what I’ve seen Eli has been getting worse the past couple of years. He’s also the least mobile of any QB in the league making everyone say he o-line was actually worse than it was. I believe his total lack of mobility late in his career would’ve made every o-line look bad. What was the Giants record this year when OJB and the rest were healthy? That’s right they were 0-4 at that point. Eli had a great career but he feel off the cliff w isn’t age and I don’t believe he has enough left in the tank for the Giants to go on a playoff run this year let alone for years after this. This years QB class was stacked w 4 going in the top 10. Next years QB class is terrible and while I don’t expect to get his giants be good I don’t expect they’d will get a top 2 pick and instead will be around 10.
    And finally how in the world can you take a RB at #2 let alone top 5 if that RB can’t be your bell cow and a 25 carry guy as Barkley was never that guy in college. To take a RB that high in the draft he has to a guy especially in the winters of NY/NJ and pound it between the tables 25+ times. That’s exactly what Elliot Fournette and Gurley do for their teams. As I said Barkley is now the 4th highest paid RB and the Giants are already saying they like his receiving skills as much as his running ability. Nobody questions how great of a receiving threat he’ll be but they are pretty much saying they are hoping to get the type of season outta him that the Saints just got outta Kamara a 3rd rd pick.
    There are a ton of RB’s in the league that can give you high production that came from after the first rd on the draft. The leading rusher last year was Kareem Hunt a late rd pick. Who by the way is making in the 100’s of thousands per year no 8 million a season. Also RB’s have the shortest shelf life of NFL players and are always getting banged up. If you get 8 years outta Barkley it’s a huge success while if you get a QB you get 12+ years of production. If Eli was younger and was actually playing good football last 2 years it would be a different story. Eli’s play and his stats are down the past 2 years and only going to diminish w his age.
    This was all just terribly plaid out by the Giants going all the way to the top. This was a terrible over-reaction to last years benching of Eli Manning by the local fan base and media. I just think this was a huge mistake by the Giants and I could care less about the player Barkley can be as again he has to be one of the top 4 RB’s in all of football JUST to get equal value for what they are paying him. While the Jets who they share a stadium w took Darnold so in 5 years it will be easy to see who made out better.
    I will go on record to say I don’t believe Eli has multiple good productive years left for the Giants. He may be able to play a couple of season but they won’t be productive. They won’t be a playoff team. They still have no QB of the future on their roster. They really could’ve used a younger QB who has better mobility even if the QB isn’t athletic just being 15 years younger males that player a lot more mobile in the pocket to move around and buy time. Just the fact that Eli is 37 and his stats and passer rating have gone down to lows for him the past couple of years shows he is getting worse w age and if the Giants did the smart thing and took a QB at #2 no way Eli would’ve made it thru this whole season as their starter as he’d be replaced by week 10. But instead they took a RB who’s gonna give u 15 carries and 4 catches a game.

  28. If there were better QB’s available, I could see your point. There were not in this draft. Jackson has upside but is a huge gamble. This kid will run more than 15 times. Expect 25 total touches. I can tell you didn’t see him play much.

  29. The Browns should have taken him at 1. Their QB would still have been there at 4. Mayfield has bust written all over him. Sorry Cleveland. I know you have suffered but it seems like it may continue. The good news is that with your other moves, you are good enough now to win 4 or 5 games.

  30. doctorrustbelt says:
    May 1, 2018 at 6:13 am
    Joe Mixon College Statistics (2 Seasons):

    13.8 yards per reception

    9 receiving touchdowns

    6.8 yards per rush

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Saquon Barkley College Statistics (3 Seasons):

    11.7 yards per reception

    8 receiving touchdowns

    5.7 yards per rush

    … and Joe Mixon drafted in the 2nd round.
    ———————————————————-
    Mixon WOULD have been a 1st Rounder if not for the whole “sucker punching a woman in the face on tape” thing. You forgot that part.

  31. doctorrustbelt says:
    May 1, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Joe Mixon College Statistics (2 Seasons):

    13.8 yards per reception

    9 receiving touchdowns

    6.8 yards per rush

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Saquon Barkley College Statistics (3 Seasons):

    11.7 yards per reception

    8 receiving touchdowns

    5.7 yards per rush

    … and Joe Mixon drafted in the 2nd round.

    ———————————————

    They said receiving SKILLS, not stats.

    And Joe Mixon was drafted in the second because of a video of him face punching a woman.

    But aside from those glaring issues with your statement, you’re right, Joe Mixon was drafted in the second round…

    Those that complain about the draft pick clearly never watched Barkley play in college.

  32. winningisabrees says:
    May 1, 2018 at 9:09 am
    Nah man, NO WAY A RB goes 2nd overall in todays game, Kamara went 3rd round and was OROY. Anyone justifying this pick are the homers.

    Reggie Bush at 3rd overall in 2006 should have been the nail in coffin for early RB picks. I mean he did decent, played a while, but nowhere near expectations.

    ******************************************
    Ezekiel Elliott was drafted #4 and led the league in rushing with over 1600 yards despite only playing 15 games as a rookie……the Cowboys offense was garbage without him for 6 games last year.

    By your logic, no QB should be drafted before the 6th round because Tom Brady has 5 Rings and Tim Couch was a bust being drafted #1

  33. Barkley is the real deal. He ran behind an undersized line at PSU. I am an Eagles fan who is not looking forward to facing him 2x a year for the next 8 or 9 years. He also picks up the blitz very well and makes difficult catches. If there was a no miss QB staring at the Giants, then they would have been better off taking a QB. Clearly, that was not the case with this bunch.

  34. There are two schools of thought here.

    -Be superbowl competitive

    -Be playoff competitive

    The Giants were a very good team two years ago, and terrible last year. What was the difference? Eli’s receiving core all had serious injuries last year, and Oline couldn’t block anything.

    I think having a running game keeps defenses honest, so that will help the Oline on pass protection. Having receivers that Eli has heard of will help him also.

    They still have a lot of good players on defense. And, if Eli implodes this year, you’ll have the ability to draft a QB next year.

  35. omeimontis says:
    May 1, 2018 at 10:46 am
    Rushing is underrated. Look what happened to Arizona after they lost their top rusher for the season in 2017.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Losing elite All-Pro RB/WR David Johnson, arguably the best best most complete back in the NFL who doubles as a truly elite #2 wide-receiver ranking 2nd overall among WR’s in 2016 behind only Julio Jones with an ELite 92.4 overall grade as a WR n ranking as the most elusive RB in NFL by far, The loss of a weapon that talented truly hurt crippling Arizona’s offense basically. DJ is 35-40% of Arizona’s offense ALONE. David Johnson makes QB’s not only look much better but makes life so much easier on them, he will greatly help a young QB like 6″4-226pd QB Josh Rosen especially in the play action passing game giving AZ one of if not thee most lethal play action game in the NFL giving Josh Rosen clearly defined wide open reads that will lead to huge chunk plays. Having David Johnson back healthy will make Arizona’s overall offense soooooooo much better in 2018 and will greatly help young rookie QB Josh Rosen, those two along with WR Christian Kirk will all grow together and be very good for an extremely long time.

  36. Barkley’s YARDS AFTER CONTACT wasn’t great in college. Better hope that OLine opens wide holes… Stupid pick at #2 especially with an old overrated QB. lol

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