Saquon Barkley’s 2018 draft selection was met with much applause, but the New York Giants star wasn’t too fond of the annual event.
The New York Giants were searching for answers after the 2017 campaign, a season in which the four-time Super Bowl champs won just three games. There were glaring holes all throughout the roster heading into the draft. But, general manager Dave Gettleman stuck by his word and selected the best player available, running back Saquon Barkley, at No. 2 overall.
It was certainly a pick that excited Giants fans, considering what Saquon was able to do at Penn State — win the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year twice and earn consensus All-American honors. And while it seemed like a fantastic night for the man himself, the 2018 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year didn’t actually have the greatest experience.
"Sometimes you just need that extra motivation" 😤@saquon expects to see the old @TG3II this year in Atlanta. The Giants RB also thinks you'll see the old Cam and dishes on the best prospects in this year's NFL draft during exclusive interview with @TaylorRooks (@brgridiron) pic.twitter.com/ovpbEoBkgv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 10, 2020
“If I could do it again, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the draft,” Barkley told Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report. “Like, that memory of walking on the stage and getting a jersey is something that you never forget…that’s always gonna stick with me. But a lot of people don’t know the behind the scenes. I had to do two or three hours of media right after I got drafted. I missed my own draft party. Jim Brown came to my draft party and I called him when he was leaving my draft party, so, I didn’t really get to spend as much time as I would’ve liked to with my loved ones.”
Unfortunately this year, no draft prospect will be experiencing that on-stage moment. Concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the annual event to become “fully virtual.”
Teams will have to communicate with draft headquarters via phone or internet. Facilities around the league will also be closed, so general managers and additional front office staff will be working from home.
It’ll be a weird, interesting experience. There may still be questions regarding it, but all of them must be answered soon. The annual event will take place from Thursday, April 23 until Saturday, April 25.