To all New York Giants fans: your suffering is about to pay off.  A 3-13 season  has come and gone.  Coach Ben McAdoo is out.  Odell Beckham Jr. no longer needs a walking boot.  We are less than one month away from the NFL Scouting Combine.  Things are getting better by the day.

Those 13 losses translate into the second overall pick in this spring’s NFL Draft.  Now begins the tumultuous debate as to what should be done with that number two pick.

Looking back at history, the last time the Giants had a top five pick, they selected Philip Rivers fourth overall in 2004, only to promptly trade him to San Diego for Eli Manning.  The last time New York had the second overall pick was 1981, when the Giants selected a linebacker from the University of North Carolina who would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is still considered one of, if not THE greatest player of all time.

It certainly does not appear that there is a Lawrence Taylor in this particular draft class.  Even if there was, it’s doubtful the Giants would pick him anyway.  This year it appears New York is thinking offense with its pick.

The consensus stands between a quarterback and a running back.  In the quarterback camp is any number of options.  Presumably, the Cleveland Browns will go for a franchise signal-caller with the number one pick.  This means at least one of the group of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson will be gone by pick two.

Currently, the trend seems to suggest the Browns will take Darnold, and Big Blue will then take Eli Manning’s successor in Josh Rosen.  Now by no means is this a bad thing.  It’s no secret that 2012 Eli is no longer here and that Father Time is beginning to catch him.  If the Giants are serious about contending, then they shouldn’t see an opportunity this high in the draft for a while.

Rosen brings excellent talent to the table.  He is an outstanding pocket passer with textbook fundamentals and a great arm.  He also kept the turnovers to a minimum throughout his collegiate career.  Also if Dave Gettleman is serious about his faith in Manning, that would give Rosen a few years to learn the pro-game from a two-time Super Bowl MVP.

But there is an alternative.

The last time the New York Giants had a 1,000 yard rusher was 2012 when Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 1,015 yards.  Big Blue hasn’t had a Pro Bowl running back since Tiki Barber’s final season in 2006.  It’s been over a decade since New York had a real game-breaking running back that they could look to for big plays.

That can change with the selection of Saquon Barkley.  Barkley was lethal throughout his career at Penn State.  He broke 1,000 yards rushing in all three of his seasons, and scored a whopping 43 rushing touchdowns.  He also caught eight touchdowns and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.  He is the complete package.

There is a reason he is drawing comparisons to Barry Sanders and Le’Veon Bell.  It’s because he’s that good.  This is a once in a generation talent who could put up Lawrence Taylor caliber numbers.  If you really want a quarterback, take him at the top of the second round.  You should be taking this guy at number two.

This article first appeared on and was syndicated with permission.


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