New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman will probably not sleep much in the next several days. This is because he is the man tasked with selecting a Hall of Famer for the New York Giants with the second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Gettleman said as such in an interview last week. He knows he and his front office must select the right guy. He has admitted that it will set the franchise back five years if he drafts the wrong player.
Gettleman clearly knows what is at stake here. He understands the situation the franchise is in. The Giants have endured a painful fall from grace in the past several years. The franchise, which seems to be lacking a clear direction, would be on an even worse path if this high pick does not pan out.
Of course, Gettleman knows that a Hall of Fame player will be hard to find. There are usually between three and six players in each draft class that end their football lives by putting on a Gold Jacket in Canton. There are over 250 players drafted every year, with a few hundred undrafted free agents also getting their shot. That means that there is around a 1 percent chance that the Giants actually draft a Hall of Famer.
However, the Giants’ odds improve if we look at how many second overall picks have ended their football careers in Canton. In the 55 drafts that took place from 1936 to 1990, nine players have been drafted second overall and had Hall of Fame careers. That means that the Giants have around a 16 percent chance of drafting a Hall of Famer. One of these players was linebacker Lawrence Taylor, the greatest player in Giants history and one of the best defensive players in NFL history. Running backs Tony Dorsett and Eric Dickerson and defensive lineman Randy White also made the Hall of Fame after being selected with the second overall pick.
Coincidentally, the two players the Giants could draft with this pick (assuming they don’t take a quarterback) are a running back and an edge rusher.
Saquon Barkley has virtually no weaknesses and is one of the most complete players to come out of college in recent years. He can run with speed and power, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, and he can pass-block in third down passing situations. He has been as highly-touted as recent college stars such as Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette. Those two running backs have both made seamless transitions to the NFL and have become vital offensive weapons. Barkley could do the same for the Giants.
However, most NFL running backs do not enjoy long, prosperous careers. The best running back of the past 15 years has been Adrian Peterson. Peterson had eight great seasons as a Minnesota Viking and has amassed over 12,000 rushing yards in his NFL career. Based on this recent history, it is unlikely that Barkley has more than eight great seasons in the NFL.
On the other hand, if the Giants select Bradley Chubb, they could enjoy twelve years of great production from a disruptive defensive player. Chubb will not touch the ball 25 times per game. However, if he is as good as advertised, he will be a player that strikes fear in the hearts of opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks. There are only a few current edge rushers who live in the nightmares of offensive tackles across the league. Chubb could be one of those guys.
There have been numerous reports that have stated that the Giants will not select a quarterback with the second overall pick. If that is the case, the Giants could either draft Barkley, draft Chubb, or trade down. Since Gettleman has never traded down in the draft, it is safe to say that the Giants will be keeping the second pick.
Giants fans will have to hope that Gettleman makes the right decision. If I were in Gettleman’s shoes, I would select Chubb. The Giants wouldn’t really know whether he would be an outside linebacker or defensive end in their 3-4 scheme, but that should not deter them from drafting him. Chubb is a great football player. He’s like Draymond Green of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Green didn’t have a position coming out of college, but he is a great basketball who can impact the game in many different ways. Chubb will be an impact player no matter where he plays.
Gettleman recently said that it is dangerous to draft a player based on that player’s supposed shelf life in the NFL. This statement, along with most of the other things he has said in recent weeks, seems to indicate that he wants to draft Barkley. He keeps hinting at the fact that he likes Barkley. I think that the Giants will end up drafting Barkley with the second pick in the draft. Giants fans will not be happy if Barkley has just four or five great years. The fans will feel even worse if Chubb goes on to have a great career.
General managers should use several criteria to evaluate NFL prospects. Shelf life should be one of these criteria, and Giants fans should hope that Gettleman does not completely discount it.
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