Penn State's Barkley is best talent, but QBs to lead draft


"I think that the devaluing of the running back is really a myth", Gettleman said recently. He's one of those guys that my mother could have scouted. Barkley (6'0/233) dominated all three years as a Nittany Lion, averaging 6.52 yards per touch with 54 career TDs; 43 as a rusher, eight as a receiver, two on kick returns, and one as a passer.

The argument for taking Barkley is that he is supremely talented and could single-handedly transform the offense. The following season, he led the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (140.86 yards per game) and 22 total touchdowns while finishing second with 1,496 rushing yards.

By the time Barkley spoke to reporters in New Jersey in a conference call, he had received welcoming texts from Manning and receiver Odell Beckham Jr., whom he had recently trained with in Los Angeles.

BC-FBN-Draft-Giants, 1st Ld-Writethru, 750Giants pass on QB, take running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2AP Photo CBS129, CBS221, CBS128, CBS130, CBS131Eds: Updates with comment from Gettleman, Shurmur and Barkley.

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Originally, there was some speculation that the former Penn State star would end up going as the top overall pick to the Cleveland Browns, but the team made a decision to address their need at quarterback instead by selecting Baker Mayfield. Draft expert Gil Brandt says he's the best at the position since Adrian Peterson.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said he hasn't seen a player like Barkley in nearly three decades. Named a team captain before the 2017 season, Barkley went on to become the first FBS player since 2000 to top 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season, and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. "Darnold will be in play", Vacchiano wrote recently, "because there are some in the organization who think passing on a franchise quarterback would be nuts". It cost NY the No. 6 pick, two second-round selections this year and a second-rounder next year - a steep price to pay, but one general manager Mike Maccagnan was comfortable with. I have already talked about how it would be a mistake if the Eagles took a running back in the first round, but that was not with the idea of Barkley being the running back they select. He was the first running back off the board.

It seems certain the Browns at the top, the Jets at No. 3 and the Broncos at No. 5 will go the quarterback route.