You’re On, Saquon


Saquon Barkley hurdles a Rutgers defender (a metaphor for both his and Rutgers' career.) (Courtesy of Twitter)

By Anthony Cardone

Saquon Barkley hurdles a Rutgers defender (a metaphor for both his and Rutgers’ career.) (Courtesy of Twitter)

With the second overall pick in the hands of the Giants, Big Blue had many options, but it came down to winning now or looking at the future. Over the last couple of months, so many names, rumors and mock drafts looked at the second overall pick, but no one really knew what would happen until the name was called. Finally, last Thursday, Saquon Barkley’s name was announced and the Giants officially drafted the six-foot running back out of Penn State.

Barkley, to some, is the best player in the draft. The Heisman winner, Baker Mayfield, was picked first overall by the Browns. The Giants couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take Barkley, but was it the right choice?

The Giants had a number of questions facing them heading into this draft: are any of the available quarterbacks a fit for their future? Will any of them have better value than taking Barkley? What happens after Eli Manning retires?

Most Giants fans find it very exciting to have this explosive back to add along with Beckham and Manning, but it puts a different type of pressure on the team to win now. Taking a quarterback would have given the Giants insurance behind Manning for the upcoming future. That insurance is not just in case of an injury for the 37-year old starter, but also if he has as miserable a season as he did last year.

If Manning does struggle one or two games in a row, New York is going to have a mental breakdown and you will hear everyone say “We should have drafted a quarterback.” Not to knock Barkley’s talent, but it’s up to him to make sure he meets the hype almost immediately by winning. That’s a lot of pressure on a rookie.

As Manning gets older in the upcoming drafts, the Giants will hope to take a quarterback to pair with Barkley. Otherwise, Davis Webb or the quarterback they drafted in the fourth round this year, Kyle Lauletta from Richmond, will have to step up after Manning is gone. Everyone knows a legend can come from any round, like their rival Tom Brady, who was picked 199th overall.

The Giants always seem to be in a pressure situation to win, mainly due to being in a big-market city with big-market names. Saquon Barkley seems to have that mentality to be a franchise player that will stay with them for many years. It remains to be seen if Barkley’s talent will be enough.

Who knows what Manning will do next year? He could come out on fire and the Giants could win the division. Then, Giants fans would say we didn’t even need a quarterback. Or, it could be like last season and everything would be on general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmr, who by the way are both in their first seasons. The Big Apple is a tough place to play. Watch out Saquon. You’re on.