The New York Giants might’ve finished 3-13, but that doesn’t quite tell the whole story. In fact, they’re a much better team than this shows. Injuries have plagued the team since week one which made relying on young, inexperienced players the only option. Without losing some of these impactful players, they likely would’ve returned to the playoffs this season as expected. Unfortunately, things don’t always pan out and clearing house is the first step to revitalizing this beloved New York team. What’s next for the Giants? Well, that all could depend on how the Giants use the number two pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Let’s dive into some of their most attractive options.
How the New York Giants Should Use the Number Two Pick
Quarterback of the Future
Most experts would agree that if the Giants are going to be replacing Eli Manning, now is the time. While he still has two years left on his current contract, those are almost certain to be his last. This means drafting his successor is beginning to look increasingly likely considering the Giants won’t be selecting this high any time soon.
In recent years, quarterbacks selected within the top three picks have shown tremendous success. This is especially true when the first two selections are both quarterbacks (Andrew Luck/Robert Griffin III until his injuries, Jameis Winston/Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff/Carson Wentz). With the Cleveland Browns looking to secure one with the first overall pick, the Giants could complete the duo and get the next best prospect.
As of now, the consensus is that USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen are the top two prospects in a loaded quarterback draft class. Things could change quickly as Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen look to impress at the Scouting Combine. Some of these athletes have higher floors than their competition, but the potential to be elite is mutual. Given how bountiful this class is, it’s even possible the Giants could land one with the 34th overall pick.
Best Overall Prospect
Jerry Reese might not be with the team anymore, but his infamous draft philosophy could linger for another year. Running back Saquon Barkley, arguably the best prospect of this generation, could potentially be available after the Browns selection. Although quarterback is a greater need, his skill level is sure to turn heads in the Giants front office. The Giants haven’t had a run heavy offense since the Tiki Barber days, but they’ve won two Super Bowls without it. So what would make them change direction now?
To answer that, Barkley can develop into the most versatile back in the league, even more so than Le’Veon Bell. The Heisman finalist boasts three consecutive 1,000 rushing yards seasons, averaging 5.7 yards per carry in his career. He’s accounted for 54 touchdowns in his three seasons at Penn State. It includes 43 rushing touchdowns, eight touchdown receptions, two kickoff return touchdowns, and even a touchdown pass as well. He’s a jack of all trades and something the Giants should strongly consider before pulling the trigger on a quarterback.
Acquire More Draft Picks
Top five draft picks have always been frequently traded, but it seems the returns are continuing to increase as rookie players are having more impact on their teams than ever before. In the last six drafts, the second overall pick has been traded three times, that’s 50% of the time! Now that doesn’t mean the Giants must or will even follow this trend, but it’s worth noting the attraction other teams will have for this selection.
The only situation Dave Gettleman will trade this pick is if the team decides to stick with Manning and last year’s third rounder Davis Webb. That’s a big “if” considering Webb still hasn’t thrown a single pass since entering the NFL. During Gettleman’s tenure with the Panthers, he’s proven his bravery when it comes to trades. It’s a step in the opposite direction of what the Giants are accustomed to with Reese, but after failing to adequately build a team through multiple drafts, maybe change is what this organization needs to become elite again.