NFL mock drafts have the two sides drifting apart. According to projections by NFL.com, the New York Giants will select an offensive guard with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. That would leave Saquon Barkley to the Cleveland Browns at No. 4. CBS Sports projects the former Penn State running back also will go fourth to the Browns, two spots after the Giants take N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb.
But in listening to Giants’ management speak about Barkley, it seems more likely they could break traditional draft norms and take Barkley with the second overall selection.
“I don’t think No. 2 overall is too high to take any player that warrants that pick,’’ Giants coach Pat Shurmur said at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday.
General manager Dave Gettleman agrees.
“If I’m sitting on my big cheeks looking at the board and I’m saying, ‘This guy has got it,’ really, is it hard?’’ he said.
Both Shurmur and Gettleman have watched extensive film on Barkley, and, as Shurmur put it simply, “You don’t see anything he can’t do.”
Gettleman elaborated, listing the traits he thinks make Barkley special. He’s powerful, big, changes speed, catches the ball out of the backfield and picks up the blitz.
“Unusual, I’m telling you,” Gettleman told the New York Post about Barkley’s ability.
Shurmur and Gettleman spent some time with Barkley at the scouting combine but will get to know him better in the coming weeks. Each organization can bring in 30 players for pre-draft visits, and Barkley certainly will be one of them. They’ll hope to develop more of a personal bond with Barkley, whom Shurmur already pegged as a “terrific human being.”
The 2018 NFL Draft will take place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.