Eli Manning New York Giants
Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

Trading the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft would bring the New York Giants a monster haul, one that would set the team up for long-term success.

Ever since the New York Jets traded up for the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the assumption has been that the New York Giants will select running back Saquon Barkley with pick No. 2.

Hold your horses on that theory, however, because there is another move that could be even better: Trading the No. 2 pick for a huge haul of draft picks.


There are still a lot of teams, like the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals, that is still searching for its quarterback of the future.

If those teams feel that Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen can be that guy, they will need to trade up into the top three to guarantee themselves a shot at one of those quarterbacks.

The Giants have made it clear that Eli Manning is their quarterback for this season and possibly for the next few years. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t take a quarterback second overall, despite reports that they have three non-quarterbacks at the top of their draft board.

New York Giants

As general manager Dave Gettleman told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News back in February, he’s not opposed to trading down in the draft.

“Are we open for business? Any decision I make’s gonna be in the best interest of the New York Football Giants, plain and simple. So if someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse, would I move back? It depends upon who’s there.”

 

Thanks to the Jets trade, the Giants can demand a king’s ransom from a team who wants to jump ahead of Gang Green.

The Jets gave up three second-round picks (two of them in the 2018 draft) while swapping the No. 6 pick for the No. 3 in its trade with the Indianapolis Colts.

Big Blue can get a bigger bundle of picks, possibly gaining five draft picks in a trade.

Let’s look at some potential deals.

NFL

Buffalo Bills

There’s been some chatter that Buffalo, with two picks in the first round, No. 12 and No. 21, would like to move up in the draft to get a quarterback, and for good reason. After trading Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland, the Bills have two QBs on their roster: second-year pro Nathan Peterman and career-backup AJ McCarron.

Here’s what a package to the Giants might look like:

  • 2018 first-round pick (No. 12)
  • 2018 first-round pick (No. 22)
  • 2018 second-round pick (No. 53)
  • 2019 first-round pick
  • 2019 third-round pick

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are another team in desperate need of a quarterback. Arizona signed Sam Bradford to a one-year deal and Mike Glennon to a two-year deal as short-term solutions under center but will be looking for their franchise QB in the draft.

Sitting with the 15th pick in the draft, the Cardinals will likely have to give up both their first-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts, along with its second-round pick in this year’s draft to move up to No. 2.

Here’s a potential return from Arizona:

  • 2018 first-round pick (No. 15)
  • 2018 second-round pick (No. 47)
  • 2019 first-round pick
  • 2019 third-round pick
  • 2020 first-round pick

Trading back to 12 or 15 would knock the Giants out of contention to get either Barkley or Nelson, so Big Blue may opt to fill other needs rather than focus on the offensive line or at running back.

Denver Broncos

Trading with the Denver Broncos would be a different story.

With Denver having the fifth-overall pick in the draft, swapping first-round picks with the Broncos would put the Giants in a position to still draft Nelson and maybe even Barkley.

John Elway would have to give up:

  • 2018 first-round pick (No. 5)
  • 2018 second-round pick (No. 40)
  • 2018 third-round pick (No. 99)
  • 2019 first-round pick

The Broncos signed quarterback Case Keenum to a two-year deal and, after the signing, some reports came out that the Broncos might now try to trade up to take Barkley.

Talk Show Host/NFL Insider for 104.3 The Fan Cecil Lammey believes the Broncos will try their best to trade up in the draft to get Barkley.

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill is coming off back-to-back ACL injuries. Entering his age-30 season, it’s hard to think that his best football is still ahead of him.

With concerns regarding Tannehill, the Dolphins may, if they really like either Rosen, Darnold or Allen, to try to trade up to snag one of them.

Sitting with the 11th pick in the draft, the Dolphins are looking at a similar haul the Cardinals would have to give up to move up to No. 2 since they don’t have another first-round pick this year.

  • 2018 first-round pick (No. 11)
  • 2018 second-round pick (No. 42)
  • 2019 first-round pick
  • 2019 third-round pick
  • 2020 first-round pick
Sam Darnold says it would be amazing if Giants drafted him
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Jets trade has made the Giants’ situation with the No. 2 pick go from great to fantastic.

If a team outside the top-three wants Allen, Darnold, Mayfield or Rosen, they’re going to have to trade up into the top-three to ensure that they get them. The Giants hold the key to making that happen.

The Giants will be all set to rebuild their team into a perennial contender with all those extra picks in 2018 and beyond.

If not, the Giants get to take the top player on their draft board, whoever it may be.

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