4. RB Saquon Barkley
Hindsight is always 20/20. I would have taken Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft just like Dave Gettleman did. Looking back at it, taking a running back there is bad business.
This is taking nothing away from Barkley, he is a tremendous talent who has a legit case for being the best running back in the NFL. Regardless, NFL teams just simply cannot take a running back second overall. Not only do running backs have extremely short shelf lives, but they take the most hits and deal with injury problems – this has been the case with Saquon.
Additionally, good running backs are very easy to find in the later rounds of the draft. In this 2023 draft, there are mutiple running backs who project to get selected in the middle rounds that will start football games for teams next season.
Some of the most successful teams in the NFL like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Philadelphia Eagles have adopted running back rotations, which allows them to invest very few resources on the position while simualtenously eliminating wear and tear on their backs. It’s no coincidence that these three teams are elite and spend very little capital on the running back position.
In the first round of the 2018 draft, the Giants could have drafted Quenton Nelson: the best interior lineman in football, Bradley Chubb: an elite pass rusher, Denzel Ward: a shutdown corner, or even Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson: two superstar quarterbacks.