What if the New York Giants passed on running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft? What if they did it knowing all he would accomplish as a rookie, which was highlighted by over 2,000 yards from scrimmage?
On the surface, passing on Barkley in hindsight would be a remarkably foolish decision, but that’s exactly what the experts at NFL Nation did earlier this week when they re-drafted the first 64 picks from a year ago.
Instead of Barkley, NFL Nation had the Giants going with quarterback Sam Darnold in Round 1.
2. New York Giants
Original pick: Saquon Barkley, RB
New pick: Sam Darnold, QB
This has nothing to do with Barkley. He was everything the Giants expected and more. But the 5-11 campaign only punctuated this organization’s need for a quarterback with Eli Manning in decline. — Jordan Raanan
With Darnold residing on the pine behind Eli Manning in this scenario — for possibly up to three years — the Giants then turn their attention to the ground game in Round 2.
34. New York Giants
Original pick: Will Hernandez, G
New pick: Phillip Lindsay, RB
Since the Giants didn’t take Barkley in the first round, a Pro Bowl running back in the second round was too good to pass up. Hernandez already was gone in this scenario, but an offensive lineman was in consideration. If the draft unfolded this way, the Giants would’ve had to address the O-line in later rounds. Lindsay went undrafted in April. — Jordan Raanan
Without Hernandez and Barkley, the Giants would have a secondary, albeit talented, running back trying to find space behind an offensive line that would be substantially worse than the one they put on the field this season. They would have had to target another offensive lineman later on in the draft, which would also potentially mean they’d miss out on B.J. Hill and/or Lorenzo Carter.
Would it have been worth it? What are your thoughts on this, Giants fans? Would you prefer two starters in Barkley and Hernandez, or a backup quarterback riding the pine and a second tier running back behind a less functional offensive line?