The New York Giants have missed on a lot of first round picks in the last 10 years, but at least one year, the team made what looks like the right decision – that was the year when the Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley second overall, taking the player that now serves as the center point in the offense. Even with last season being disrupted by injury, Barkley is still the only player on the Giants that can compete for the claim of being the very best at his position.
Barkley is also one of the few Giants players to get recognition from voices around the league and the media for the past few years, even while the Giants have been lagging behind in the majority of the rest of their positions.
He was recently called the best Giants pick in the past 10 years by Bleacher Report, something that’s hard to argue at this point, as Barkley heads into his third season once again expected to lead the offense.
Whether the Giants should have used the second overall pick in the 2018 draft on a running back is a valid question. There’s no question, though, that Saquon Barkley is legit.
In his first season, Barkley was a force of nature—he averaged five yards per carry, caught 91 passes, topped 2,000 total yards, scored 15 touchdowns and brought home Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Barkley’s numbers came down in 2019 (largely due to a high ankle sprain that cost him three games), but he enters his third season as one of the NFL’s most dangerous players with a football in his hands.
Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport called Barkley the most important part of the Giants attack and said that there’s also an argument to be made for Odell Beckham Jr. being the best pick of the decade for the Giants – but Beckham was traded to the Browns, hurting his standing in that conversation.
Beckham’s time with the Giants will go down in the history books as a time of missed opportunities, when the Giants had some talent but not enough to capitalize and compete during the one year when they made the playoffs with Beckham – even with other problems such as an aging Eli Manning and terrible coaching hurting the receiver’s play rather than just his own talent, Beckham’s time won’t be remembered too fondly by a lot of fans because of the failures.
Barkley, on the other hand, still has the future ahead of him even with poor records in his first couple of seasons due to the lack of talent in other areas of the team. Only time can tell where the future will take the Giants and Barkley in specific, but with the direction the Giants are headed under new head coach Joe Judge, it looks like the Barkley pick will indeed go down as better than the Beckham one.
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