The 2018 NFL season for the New York Giants will be a turning point for the franchise. This past offseason the Giants drafted second and chose Penn State’s star running back Saquon Barkley. Did the Giants sacrifice their future by not drafting a QB? Before you pledge your fandom, considering the following.
Depending on how you look at it, the New York Giants have either gone all in, or have just rolled snake eyes. GM Dave Gettleman is an old school football guy. He doesn’t go by the numbers. He could care less about about analytics. He goes by what he sees and lives with the results. In that sense, he’s what the team has needed for a long time. Someone to say, “the buck stops with me”. So it stands to reason that he will be the man to look to when the season is over. He’s gambling on Eli Manning. By not drafting a QB, and then surprisingly letting go of last year’s 3rd draft pick Davis Webb, the Giants are undeniably in win-now mode. But is Saquon Barkley the horse to ride this season? As great an athlete as Barkley is, and could be, the G-Men’s history when it comes running backs the Giants has been less than stellar. Here’s a look at the last 5 running backs the Giants drafted:
2017 Wayne Gallman 4th round
2016 Paul Perkins 5th round
2014 Andre Williams 4th round
2013 Michael Cox 7th round
2012 David Wilson 1st round
Gallman and Perkins are in their second and third seasons, respectively, and are currently serving as backups to Barkley. After a promising rookie season, Andre Williams is not on a 2018 roster. Michael Cox lasted only 2 seasons. A neck injury ended David Wilson's NFL career after 21 games . In fact, the last running back to rush for 1000 yards was Ahmad Bradshaw back in 2012.
Gettleman said that Barkley was, “…touched by God…”. The Giants have Odell Beckham Jr and the rest of their receiving corp back. They have upgraded their offensive line, by bringing in 2nd round pick Will Hernandez, and free agent acquisition Nate Solder. Eli Manning is back as the starter possibly for one more title run. I’m not saying it might not be enough, but a little divine intervention couldn’t hurt.