Coming off a 3-13 season, the New York Giants are a team in need of a serious makeover. Holding the second pick in the draft gives them an opportunity to make a dramatic move towards their future.
The one benefit of the New York Giants‘ nightmare 2017 season is that they hold the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and have the opportunity to select a collegiate superstar to mold into a franchise player.
With three picks in the top 66 selections, the Giants have a chance to take game-changing players that will be part of their core team for years to come.
But it’s what they will do with that coveted second pick in the draft that has everybody guessing.
So what will be done on the Giants’ behalf? They have the ability to start the 2018 season out on a high note before any player even steps on the field.
Here are three scenarios for what the Giants can do with the second pick in the draft.
1. Draft Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold
It’s not a lock that if you take a quarterback with the second pick in the draft that he’ll be your quarterback for the next decade. Just look at the 1998 draft when the San Diego Chargers took Ryan Leaf with their number two pick.
But more times than not, if you take a quarterback at the top of the draft, they’ll have a promising future. Just look at what Carson Wentz, the second pick in the 2016 draft, did this season.
Last season was an anomaly for the New York Giants as they seldom finish with one of the worst records in the league, and don’t figure to have this happen again anytime soon.
The last time the Giants had a top-five draft pick was 2004 when they had the number four overall pick and traded for Eli Manning. We all know how well that worked for the Giants, as Manning is in the top 10 all-time in passing yards and touchdowns, and brought the city two Super Bowl titles.
But Manning is 37 now and entering his 15th season in the league and it’s time for the Giants to find his successor.
The Giants do have Davis Webb on the roster, who was the Giants’ third-round pick in the 2017 draft, but he does not have the upside that Rosen or Darnold have.
The likely scenario for what the Giants will do in the upcoming draft is to take a quarterback and hope that he can be the team’s quarterback for the next decade, a la Manning.
2. Draft Saquon Barkley
With the NFL being as pass-happy as it is, with the second pick in the draft you either draft a quarterback, a left tackle that can protect the quarterback, a top receiver a quarterback can throw to, or a pass rusher to go after quarterbacks.
Taking a running back with the second pick is viewed as a bad-value pick unless you feel the running back can have a special career. It just so happens that Barkley is considered a special talent and, to some, is the best player in this draft class.
He is one of the best running backs to enter the draft in the last decade. He is a three-down back that can arguably do it all. Barkley has the potential to be a top running back in the NFL with the likes of Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott.
This past season with the Penn State Nittany Lions, he ran the ball 217 times for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had 54 receptions for 632 yards and three touchdowns.
The Giants haven’t had a running back this versatile since they had Tiki Barber, and even though the Giants have shown over the last decade that they can win Super Bowls without a workhorse running back, Barkley might be too good to pass up.
The Giants’ leading rusher from last season, Orleans Darkwa, is a free agent and he might have a price tag that’s too high for what the Giants want to spend.
If the Giants do take Barkley with the second pick, they would have to focus heavily on the offensive line the remainder of the draft. As talented as Barkley is, he won’t have success running the ball if the line is anything like it was last season.
3. Trade the second pick and stockpile picks
While the Giants do need a quarterback and running back, they have other, perhaps more pressing, needs to fill such as offensive line and linebacker. They may also need to draft a cornerback in the mid to late rounds depending on what they decide to do with Eli Apple, and if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie becomes a salary cap casualty.
So with several needs to fill, it might be best for the Giants to try to trade the second pick in the draft and acquire several picks in return. In recent years, teams with the second pick in the draft had some incredible luck on the receiving end.
In 2016 the Cleveland Browns traded the second pick in the draft to the Philadelphia Eagles and, in return, the Eagles gave them five draft picks.
In 2012 the Rams traded their second slot in the draft to the Washington Redskins and in received three first-round picks and a second-round pick.
Teams are desperate to find a franchise quarterback, and a team might be willing to give the Giants several of their picks so that they can snag Rosen or Darnold.
With Manning under contract until 2019 and with Webb on the roster, the Giants don’t necessarily need to take a quarterback if they believe Webb can be Manning’s successor. Or if they’re not convinced Webb is the heir-apparent, they can still trade down later in the first round and take Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, while still having picks to fill other needs in later rounds.
With the Giants’ two best players’ (OBJ and Landon Collins) contracts expiring after the 2018 season, it would behoove the Giants to acquire players that are playing under rookie contracts because to keep OBJ and Collins will be pricey.
Fans are eagerly waiting to see which direction Dave Gettleman decides to take with the second pick. If one of these three moves is made, the Giants’ faithful will certainly be content.