Saquon Barkley Sam Darnold
ESNY Graphic

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley speaks on the fans who preferred Sam Darnold in last year’s NFL Draft.

There was a lingering question leading up to this past season. Did the New York Giants make the right selection by picking Saquon Barkley second overall in the draft?

Many thought they should’ve gone with QB Sam Darnold, who was taken third overall by the New York Jets. The Giants needed a plan at quarterback for the long-term, and many Big Blue fans preferred that they select Darnold out of USC.

Earlier this week on the “Rapsheet & Friends” podcast, Barkley spoke on that exact topic.

“I know everyone is saying a quarterback should have been taken before me,” Barkley said. “And you know, they’re not wrong. That’s their opinion. They can have their opinion. But some people believe I should have been taken at that pick. And they’re not wrong, either. They can have that opinion.”

“When it came to (whether) the Giants made the right pick in picking me … it wasn’t to prove (anything) to the fans,” Barkley stated. “I’m so thankful that they voted me (Pepsi Rookie of the Year). It was to prove to myself. It’s to prove to the Giants … the things that matter within the locker room.”

Along with winning the Rookie of the Year award, Barkley was also selected to his first career Pro Bowl. He also led the league with 2,028 yards from scrimmage.

Darnold, on the other hand, put forth an average rookie season for the Jets. He finished with 2,865 yards through the air with 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

I’m sure Darnold will improve as the years go on, and so will Barkley, even.

We’ll see what the future holds, but for right now, the Giants made the right choice by taking Barkley over Darnold. You simply don’t pass up on a talented, generational playmaker like Barkley.

Follow on TWITTER

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.