Even with the possibility of the New York Giants taking an offensive lineman in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft, Luke Petitgout wants a playmaker and in particular, a running back for this team.
Holding the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, the Giants certainly aren’t short of possibilities or options. There is the chance they take a franchise quarterback to groom behind incumbent starter Eli Manning, or perhaps trade back in the draft. There was even some chatter earlier in the draft cycle about the Giants taking guard Quenton Nelson, who played for Petitgout’s alma mater at Notre Dame. Nelson is considered the top offensive lineman in the draft and is projected as a guard who can step in immediately and start.
But for Petitgout, a former first-round pick who spent eight years with the Giants, he thinks the pick for new general manager Dave Gettleman is clear. Shockingly, it isn’t a pick along the line.
“I’d say look at the [Dallas] Cowboys recent successes and that they’d probably mirror their path of the last five years,” Petitgout told MSGNetwork.com.
“I like [UCLA quarterback] Josh Rosen as a passer because of how he seems to keep his poise. I can’t see a guard going that high especially with no one around him. Saquon Barkley is the best prospect physically alone, to come out in the last 20 years – [he] is local and is a throwback. Gettleman knows his needs and current talent as well as anyone, and will draft a guy that he would be comfortable with and loves the big men up front. If they don’t trade down I’d say to take Barkley.”
Barkley would certainly help a running game that has ranked near the bottom of the league the past two years.
Trading down might be the best option for the Giants, even if it isn’t as exciting as taking Barkley, the Penn State running back who was a finalist for the Heisman, or a quarterback such as Rosen or USC’s Sam Darnold. Reality might just dictate a trade that could end up being too good to pass up.
With the need for not just talent but depth on a team that was 3-13 last season, the Giants could use an influx of draft picks. This could especially be the case with a team that is willing to trade up in the draft to get a quarterback, a team that could potentially covet and overpay for the second pick.
But if the price isn’t right, Petitgout is all-in on Barkley, who had three standout years at Penn State. He is solidly built, possesses great speed and is a reliable receiver out of the backfield.
All attributes that could help a Giants offense and provide some much-needed balance to the team.
“Again, I haven’t looked at the current roster but from afar. The Giants and the fans are sick of seeing nice guys on the field and look to get back to playing good ‘D’ and running the ball,” Petitgout said. “It’s what all past success was built on and it’s becoming a forgotten trade. Whoever instills that into their program will be on top.”