Thanks to the New York Jets, the New York Giants have a clear path to take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Christmas in March? A gift from the New York Jets to the New York Giants? Saquon Barkley continuing to wear a blue uniform? Are we living in an alternate reality? No, we’re not. It’s true—it’s damn true.
Unless you’ve been on a deserted island for the past few days, odds are that you’ve heard the news: The Jets traded four draft picks to the Indianapolis Colts so they could move up to No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft, guaranteeing themselves a shot at a franchise quarterback.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) March 17, 2018
It’s no secret that the Browns desperately need a franchise quarterback. With two of the first four picks in the 2018 NFL Draft—No. 1 and No. 4—the thinking was that the Dawg Pound could take Barkley first overall and then take the QB they coveted with the fourth pick.
While that scenario is still technically possible, it’s really not. For the Browns know that the Jets moved ahead of them at four to take a QB. They have no idea what the Giants are going to do with the second-overall pick.
Cleveland cannot risk having its two top-rated QB prospects come off the board before addressing the position. The Browns have to take a quarterback with the first overall pick.
Which means one of the most electrifying running backs to come out of college in years will be sitting there for the Giants to snatch up at No. 2.
Over three seasons at Penn State, Barkley racked up 5,038 yards from scrimmage and scored 51 touchdowns—in only 38 games.
Barkley has the strength to break through the line up-the-middle. He’s got the agility to make defenders miss and take it outside the tackles. He’s got the speed to leave everyone in his dust.
Add in hands like a star wide receiver and the ability to take it to the house on both punt-and-kick returns, and you’ve got the complete package, an all-purpose weapon for head coach Pat Shurmur to deploy as he sees fit.
Oh, did I mention that he’s as level-headed a superstar as you’ll find? Rather than rest on his own laurels, he sought out advice from one of the best running backs the NFL has ever seen—Curtis Martin.
“Curtis Martin is as humble as heck,” he said while a guest on CBS Sports Radio’s “Tiki and Tierney Show,” per ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “He’s one of the greatest running backs to ever play—over 14,000 career rushing yards, and a lot of people don’t speak about that. I’d be a fool not to take his advice and take the advice he gives me to the game.”
Talented? Check. Able to impact the game in multiple ways? Check. Built like a tank? Check. Quick, shifty and elusive? Check. Humble? Check.
Saquon Barkley checks off all the boxes of what a team wants in a player. Adding him to a Giants offense that, with Eli Manning under center and a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram running routes is only going to make them all the more explosive when they have the ball.
For the Jets have gifted the Giants a franchise player, a generational talent—one that comes with a big, blue bow on top.