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.