As Round 1 looms in six days, Saquon Barkley has surged to the center of the Giants’ radar screen. While that interest is real, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, this shouldn’t be viewed as a surefire pick.
There are some at Giants headquarters who think passing on a possible franchise quarterback “would be nuts,” per Vacchiano, who adds Sam Darnold likely remains the quarterback Big Blue would target (if he’s available). The Giants do not appear to be interested in Baker Mayfield or Josh Allen, and Vacchiano adds the team doesn’t seem to be as sure about this quarterback class as the one 14 years ago that produced their current starter.
Josh Rosen‘s stock may have taken a slight hit compared to where he was at the end of his final UCLA season, but one source informed Vacchiano he should not be ruled out of a New York selection. He was believed by some to be the favorite here early in the pre-draft process. A report earlier this month indicated the Giants were down on Rosen, but we are in peak smokescreen time.
Barkley is likely the No. 1 player on the Giants’ board, Vacchiano notes, adding that the team appears to prefer him to Bradley Chubb and may just view the Penn State sensation as an too much of a talent to pass up, regardless of positional value. ESPN’s Todd McShay has heard immense Barkley praise coming out of New York lately, and PFR readers’ early consensus is Barkley will be Big Apple-bound.
While the Giants are high on Chubb and Quenton Nelson, Vacchiano writes these two are likelier fits if they trade down, pointing to the Notre Dame guard in particular in a trade-down scenario. Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reported Nelson was a top-three player on New York’s board and a target if the team trades down. If the Giants were to move down and target Chubb, they probably wouldn’t be able to drop too far. Any trade-down move, though, may be less likely than the franchise just picking its preferred prospect.
“Why would we (trade down) and pass on either the best quarterback or best player on our board?” one Giants source told Vacchiano.
This is the highest pick the Giants have held since 1981, when they landed Lawrence Taylor, and Dave Gettleman has repeatedly said he would like a “gold jacket” player with his first pick as GM.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.