Handicapping What The Giants Will Do in Round 1

The NFL Draft is almost here and there will be no shortage of speculation, rumors and just plain wild hearsay inside a week of the first pick.

Considering that the New York Giants are selecting at No. 2, the buzz about this pick coming off a 3-13 season is palpable.

Frankly, it is a bit of overkill.

There is no shortage of options for what the Giants can do with the second pick on Thursday night, but each scenario gives the organization a different path and trajectory as they continue to rebuild from last year’s difficult season.

Take a look at the players the New York Giants may select with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.


They Could Draft A Quarterback

At No. 2, the Giants would potentially be selecting from a pool of Wyoming’s Josh Allen, USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. The Cleveland Browns, picking ahead of the Giants, seem all-in on a quarterback at No. 1 and the Giants would still be able to get a franchise quarterback of their own, no matter who the Browns end up picking.

And right now, it seems like the Browns are down with either Allen or Darnold with that first pick. That could set up the New York Jets across town, picking at No. 3, with Mayfield. Winner of both the Heisman and Maxwell Award as the nation’s top player, Mayfield to the Jets is a very intriguing scenario.

At 37-years old, incumbent starter Eli Manning is clearly at the tail end of his career, although he could conceivably play two or three more seasons so drafting a quarterback in the first round isn’t a rush. But next year, Manning can be released with virtually no hit against the salary cap, so the Giants could potentially draft his heir apparent to develop for a season. That’s a dream scenario in a league where quarterback is the premium position.

It’s an intriguing idea to hand the reigns of the offense from a four-time Pro Bowl selection to a top pick. But given the construction of this team and the fact that the Giants were in the playoffs the season before they went 3-13, stowing away a quarterback isn’t part of the pressing needs for this team.

Probability of the Giants drafting a quarterback in the first round: 5%

[Watch Giants Draft Night Live Thursday at 7:30 PM on MSG & MSG GO]

Madelyn Burke and Dan Orlovsky discuss who the Giants may take with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft given their current roster.

They Could Help Their Offensive Line

A lot of draft insiders think that Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is the best player available. He’s a plug-and-play guard with clear talent that could land him in the Pro Bowl consistently over the next decade. There is no doubt he is going to be solid and could be a generational player at guard.

There is a problem, though…

Guards rarely go top five in the draft and this year is no different. It is tough to imagine a scenario where the Giants get Nelson with the second pick even though he’d upgrade the offensive line. They should do it but they may not be able to.

This wouldn’t be a risky pick because Nelson is that good, but no one considers drafting interior linemen at this point in the draft. They should but they just won’t, even as Nelson would transform the unit and help keep Manning upright for a couple more seasons.

Probability the Giants draft offensive line at No. 2: 0%

[Rank The 2018 NFL Draft Prospects]

They Might Go After A Playmaker 

And that impact player would be Saquon Barkley.

There isn’t a more exciting player in the draft than Barkley, the Penn State running back who is a reliable workhorse built to be an every-down back and yet possesses the kind of speed that makes him special. Barkley can run between the tackles or get outside and he’s a threat catching the ball out of the backfield.

His selection would provide balance to the offense given the woes of the Giants running the ball in recent years. And the (kinda, sorta) revamping of the offensive line this offseason could better help Barkley’s ability to get into the second-level where he is dangerous. This is the no-brainer pick right here.

Probability the Giants draft Barkley second overall: 55%

[Dyer: Is Barkley the Best Option for Giants at No. 2?]

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman says he's keeping an open mind ahead of the next week's NFL Draft and says that adding depth will be key to any decision he makes.


They Might Trade Back

And truthfully, they probably should.

The Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals would both love to get in the mix and draft a quarterback. The Bills, in particular, are an enticing trade partner given their multiple first round picks and a total of six selections overall between Day 1 and Day 2 of the draft.

The Giants aren’t far away from being a playoff team again, don’t get sidetracked by last year’s record. They need some help along the offensive line, could use another running back and need depth along the defensive line and in the secondary.

Were they to get multiple picks from a Bills team hungry for a quarterback, the Giants could potentially have six or seven picks in the draft’s top 100 selections. They could plug holes, add several starters from their first three or four picks and then build some depth.

The issue lies in trying to get value and fair value at that for the No. 2 pick. Buffalo has their own needs outside of quarterback and can’t trade the farm while Arizona may not have the top level picks to make a deal happen.

Probability the Giants move back in the draft: 40%

[Watch Giants Draft Night Live Thursday at 7:30 PM on MSG & MSG GO]