Pros and Cons of drafting Saquon Barkley
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces who the New York Giants will draft with the second pick in the draft, it’s expected the name he’ll say will be Saquon Barkley.

We’re just hours away from the NFL draft and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has emerged as the favorite to be taken by the New York Giants with the second pick in the draft.

Barkley is widely regarding as not just the best running back in the draft but the best player in this year’s draft class.

In his final season at Penn State, he had a combined 1,903 yards rushing and receiving and found the end zone 21 times. He also ran back two kickoff returns for touchdowns and threw a touchdown.

There’s no denying Barkley’s versatility and talent, but some say taking a running back this high in the draft is not a good value pick.

Here are the pros and cons of the Giants drafting Barkley with the second pick.


1. Gives the Giants an every down back

The Giants running game has been non-existent for the past several seasons. The last time the Giants finished in the top half of the league in rushing and had a 1,000 yard rusher was in 2012.

The 6-foot, 230-pound Barkley is a rare combination of power and speed that can stay on the field all three downs. The Giants haven’t had a true dynamic every down back since Tiki Barber.  Having a running back as versatile as Barkley will make the Giants offense instantly better than it’s been in years.

2. He will make everyone around him better

As we mentioned Barkley is extremely versatile, and his versatility and skill will make life easier for the entire offense. Opposing defenses will have will have to use their linebackers to key in on Barkley which will open things up for the Giants passing game.

Just think of the year Eli Manning can have throwing the ball to Odell Beckham Jr, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram while having Barkley in the backfield.

Barkley’s quick, explosive and powerful running style will help the offensive line. He can break through defenders arm tackles, and he will wear down defenses in the second half of games.


1. Running backs have a short shelf life

The average NFL career lasts about three years. Life as a running back can be even shorter because of the constant blows running backs receive game in and game out.

The Giants know this all too well. The last time they drafted a running back in the first round was in 2012.  David Wilson‘s career lasted just 21 games before injuries forced him to retire.

It’s impossible to predict injuries, but some feel the Giants would be better off drafting an offensive or defensive lineman where the career expectancy is longer than that of a running back.

2. Miss out on drafting Eli Manning’s successor

Manning is 37-years-old and has two more years left on his contract. So sooner rather than later the Giants will have to close the book on Manning and move on.

Davis Webb is on the roster, but the third round pick from a season ago has yet to throw a pass in an NFL game, and there are more questions than answers on his NFL future.

Quarterback is by far the most important position in professional sports and the Giants have the chance to draft their quarterback of the future with the second pick.

Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen all seem to have promising NFL careers ahead of them, and although Barkley is considered the most talented player in this draft, running backs do not have the same impact on games as quarterbacks.

Sure you can find a quarterback in later rounds such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson, but for the most part, the best quarterbacks are taken early, and the Giants don’t figure to be drafting this high again anytime soon.

The Giants will have to deal with Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott in the division for the next decade, so it might serve them best to take a quarterback who can duel with them for years to come.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.