Saquon Barkley: If Rookie of the Year doesn’t make me the right pick, what will?

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Giants running back Saquon Barkley knows that some people think the Giants should have chosen quarterback Sam Darnold over him in last year’s draft. But he doesn’t know what he can do to change those people’s minds.

“If a Rookie of the Year doesn’t sway that mindset, I don’t know what will,” Barkley said, via Kimberly Jones of NFL Network.

But that’s just it: Nothing will sway that mindset. Because the idea that the Giants should have taken Darnold isn’t about Barkley at all. Criticizing the Giants’ decision was never about doubting Barkley would be a good running back. It’s about doubting that any running back can help the Giants as much as Darnold would have.

The reality is, in today’s NFL, if you need a franchise quarterback and you have a chance to draft him, and you draft a running back instead, that’s a bad move — even if that running back is Rookie of the Year. There’s a reason that 20 quarterbacks will make more money this year than the highest-paid running back: Quarterback is a far more valuable position.

If Darnold develops into a good quarterback, and Barkley develops into a great running back, then Darnold is the more valuable player. It’s not a knock on Barkley to say there’s nothing he can do to help the Giants win as much as Darnold will help the Jets win if he blossoms into a high-quality starting quarterback. It’s just the reality of their positions.

Barkley and Darnold will always be linked because they play in the same city and were drafted second and third overall in the same year. And if Darnold becomes an elite starting quarterback, he’ll always be the player the Giants should have drafted, and a career full of highlight-reel runs from Barkley won’t change that.

64 responses to “Saquon Barkley: If Rookie of the Year doesn’t make me the right pick, what will?

  1. Yeah, I understand positional value, but Barkley has the chance to be one of the best backs of the last 10-20 years.

    I doubt we’ll be talking much about Sam Darnold. Not that he’s going to be a bust, but he’s not a generational talent the way Barkley is.

  2. Get over it already Barkley and darnold both will be good players. Both teams struck gold. The giants are not ready too move on from Eli yet until they do their not taking a qb

  3. As a player, your (financial) worth is what it costs to replace you, and not a cent more. Good QBs are currently a lot more expensive than even hall-of-fame caliber RBs. Bad timing on your position choice, Saquon.

    In the 1970s-80s Saquon would be more coveted and higher compensated. I remember a time in the early early 90’s when my dad was explaining to me how the QB is “really just the guy who hands the ball off most of the time, except Joe Montana and a few others. Running backs are more valuable.”

    How times have changed!

  4. Look at it from the team perspective.

    Land a franchise quarterback, that could last (now days, perhaps 20 years, as quarterbacks increasingly play into age 40+).

    OR

    A sensational running back that touches the ball half as often, and a mere fraction of the longevity- perhaps 5 years max with elite performance.

    RoY or not, a franchise QB will always be the best pick.

  5. Barkley should demand a trade and sitout until he gets it.
    I mean he obviously aint’ gettin no respect in NY.

  6. Angel Valle says:
    April 18, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    He was Rookie of the regular season sony Michel was Rookie of the post season !

    _________________

    Sorry bud I dont think they give out postseason accolades…

  7. Barkley was the right move last year if they get someone this year that turns out equal to or better than Darnold. Most likely the reverse won’t be true that they’d get someone better than Barkley at RB in this year’s draft. A great RB can hide the warts of a mediocre QB (ask Prescott)

  8. I don’t know, maybe because 10-15 years of good play is more valuable than 3-5 years of excellent play? Show me the last SB winning team where the RB made the difference?

  9. The teams picking in the top 10 are all bad, so having a top 3-5 pick is an extremely rare opportunity. If you’re in that situation and don’t have your QB for the next 5 years, you better draft best one assuming there’s a good enough prospect there (like Sam Darnold).

    Gettleman should have done it last year to save his job because you never get another shot. Sashi Brown passed on the first round QBs in 2017 and got fired, then Dorsey took Baker #1 last year. The Giants passed on Darnold a year ago to take a running back which was all-time stupid. Assuming they’re bad again this season, does anyone actually think Gettleman will be the Giants GM next year?

  10. Sorry I believe he’s a once in a decade kind of player and unless an absolute can’t miss guy was there at QB you pull that trigger 100% on Saquon Barkley. And that’s coming from a COWBOYS fan.

  11. I mean, it would make more sense to regret if they missed out on a great QB, but why have buyers’ remorse between a good running back and a horrible QB?

  12. root4cleveland – I think Saquon will gladly take his current salary over what top-of-market guys were paid in the ’70s and ’80s.

  13. People will stop caring about the Giants and Sam Darnold if/when the Giants find a QB of the future who is as good or better than Sam Darnold. Personally, I’m not sure that will be too tough.

  14. Let me know when Barkley wins the NFL MVP and I’ll reconsider. RB is a devalued position in the NFL now. Plus, a typical QB will have a career twice as long as a typical RB.

  15. Saquon Barkley is right, the Rookie of the Year is always the right pick. For example, in 1979 San Francisco should have drafted Ottis Anderson, RB, over Joe Montana, as Anderson was the ’79 ROY. In 2000, Denver made the right pick by taking future ROY Mike Anderson, RB with the 189th pick, over that QB who was selected at pick #199 by New England.

  16. “Saquon Barkley is right, the Rookie of the Year is always the right pick. For example, in 1979 San Francisco should have drafted Ottis Anderson, RB, over Joe Montana, as Anderson was the ’79 ROY. In 2000, Denver made the right pick by taking future ROY Mike Anderson, RB with the 189th pick, over that QB who was selected at pick #199 by New England.”

    As long as we’re going back in time, in 1994 the Colts took ROY Marshall Faulk over Trent Dilfer.

  17. The Giants obviously didn’t think that Darnold was better than Barkley. That being stated, there wasn’t any QB that was going to do well last year with the line that they had. So taking Barkley in order to hit get some pressure off the QB allows them to get a QB that might have a chance at succeeding.

    Time will tell which was the right pick.

  18. Barkley was the real deal, every QB prospect was and still is questionable. NYG wanted to be in win now mode and ride with Eli – cant blame them. A new QB typically means you are rebuilding.My Eagles traded the world for Wentz, but it was still Foles who took them all the way. Tom Brady even laughs at the idea that you must be a first round QB to be the next Joe Montana.

    Giants made the right choice –

  19. Lots of folks thought the Browns should have taken Barkley at the top of the draft! The Giants made a great pick. Next Thursday night, if they like Rosen or Haskins or Lock, they’ll acquire Manning’s likely heir. Or they’ll take a qb on Day 2 or/and Day 3, and hopefully have Manning’s less likely heir. Sam Darnold is already a ‘good’ quarterback. Last season, Tony Romo got it right when he predicted that Darnold will be the best qb in the league in three years.

  20. Answer: If you were a QB. RBs – even really good ones – don’t move the needle when it comes to championships.

  21. The right pick is one that fills a need or makes the club a whole lot better than the year before. Barkley did not fill a need nor did he make the Giants a whole lot better.

  22. As good as he is, Barkley will never lead the Giants to so much as a Division Title.
    Darnold, with a little help, could lead the Jets to the Super Bowl – and even do so ten+ years from now when Barkley’s legs are gone.
    Saquon will never be an MVP, Sam has a chance for that honor too.
    End of discussion!

  23. Barkley needs to look at Barry Sanders’ career if he thinks he can win without a great QB. No running back, other than maybe Jim Brown, won championships without either a dominating defense, like Walter Payton, or a great QB. Running backs can’t carry a team by themselves.

  24. If they would have drafted a QB last year they would have still been a bad team. GettingBarley was definitely the right pick beggar they can get a 1b this year or even next year and will still be the same team. A rebuilding team needs players, doesn’t matter the order of when you get them. blow the Giants have a superstar t.v. and they will get a QB of the future. Getting a QB last year weighs have accomplished nothing.

  25. If the Giants would have drafted a QB last year they would have still been a bad team. GettingBarley was definitely the right pick beggar they can get a 1b this year or even next year and will still be the same team. A rebuilding team needs players, doesn’t matter the order of when you get them. blow the Giants have a superstar t.v. and they will get a QB of the future. Getting a QB last year weighs have accomplished nothing.

  26. Barkley is a great player but maybe not a great pick at #2, if that makes any sense. There was that game where he ran for like 200 yards against the Eagles but the Giants still got blown out.

  27. The Giants will not finish higher than 3rd in their division. They are like AMTRAK, slowly disintegrating with Gettleman at the throttle and John Mara conducting the decline – a once-proud franchise heading for the junk pile with the Cardinals, ’49ers and chaRaiders.

  28. Barkley plays at a level Darnold can only dream of. And Darnold wasn’t the 2nd best QB in that draft anyway.

  29. grumpysal says:
    April 18, 2019 at 4:43 pm
    I don’t know, maybe because 10-15 years of good play is more valuable than 3-5 years of excellent play? Show me the last SB winning team where the RB made the difference?
    ======
    Some will point to the ’97-98 Broncos and Terrell Davis. But the rest of us know it was Denver’s creative accounting that was mostly responsible for those SB victories.

    The Denver *SB champions won because of their running back talent — Any Bronco fan.

  30. He was the right pick. Slam dunk, fantastic playmaker. Just because you pick a QB high doesn’t mean he’ll be a franchise QB. Most aren’t. Look at the Cards with Rosen. Darnold is meh. Mayfield was already taken. I understand the value of QBs, but I’ll take a HOF running back over an average QB any day.

  31. Value is ultimately not how you value yourself, but how others value you when working at something in a group effort. Especially when you toss in the relatively scarcity of talent at different endeavors.

  32. Laughing at the person who said Darnold, WITH A LITTLE HELP, could lead Jets to a Super Bowl.

    Crazy Eyes Coach is not leading anybody to a championship.

  33. I remember a time in the early early 90’s when my dad was explaining to me how the QB is “really just the guy who hands the ball off most of the time, except Joe Montana and a few others. Running backs are more valuable.”

    —————-
    No offense to your father but I suspect some hyperbole was involved. While compared to recent years the percentage of rushing attempts has decreased into the low 40s, 1979 was the last year that the percentage of offensive plays being rushing attempts was over 50%:

    Year Plays Rush % rush
    1979 29219 15183 51.96%
    1980 29120 14384 49.40%
    1981 29709 14508 48.83%
    1982 16369 7763 47.43%
    1983 29473 14211 48.22%
    1984 29449 13811 46.90%
    1985 29365 13636 46.44%
    1986 29176 13509 46.30%
    1987 27786 13189 47.47%
    1988 28747 13581 47.24%
    1989 28511 13068 45.83%
    1990 27026 12442 46.04%
    1991 27221 12279 45.11%
    [skipped 1992-2015]
    2016 32734 13321 40.69%
    2017 32438 13755 42.40%
    2018 32224 13272 41.19%

  34. As a Jets fan, we took Jamal Adams over Mahomes before we drafted Darnold. I don’t get the narrative that it was such an awful move to pass on Darnold. Darnold will be a franchise QB, if he’s average at age 21 when most 21 year olds are usually awful in their first year it’s a telling sign. Sam will be a good one. That doesn’t mean Barkley was a bad pick, it just means the Giants are at a different stage of a rebuild like we were when we took Adams. And no, Josh Allen is not better than Darnold and no fan outside of Buffalo believes that. Allen’s “terrible” supporting cast was 18th in the league in drops and Allen had more time to throw in the pocket than Darnold, Baker, and Rosen with 3.22 seconds in 2018. Lazy narrative that’s been surrounding that kid since HS.

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