EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants passed on an heir apparent to two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and took a running back that many think is the best to come out of college in decade.
With the second pick overall, the Giants selected Penn State's Saquon Barkley, who many football experts consider the best running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson came out of Oklahoma in 2007.
Barkley, who entered the draft after his junior season, has all the ingredients to become a great. He has quickness, speed, strength, character and can pass protect. He also can catch and is a dynamic returner.
"He's a tremendous talent," Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said. "You put the film on of a defensive guy and if they're playing Penn State, then I'm watching Saquon. He's one of those guys that my mother could have scouted. She could have figured that one out."
The Giants need help, coming off a 3-13 season that cost coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese their jobs.
Drafting Barkley gives new coach Pat Shurmur a player who can do it all, while showing the Giants believe the 37-year-old Manning has more in the tank.
In three seasons at Penn State, Barkley finished as the Nittany Lions' second all-time leading rusher with 3,843 yards, including 1,271 this past season when he scored 138 points. He had 18 rushing touchdowns, pushing his career total to school-record 43. His 53 overall touchdowns also are a school record.
Coming out of the backfield, he had 54 receptions this past season. His 1,195 career yards receiving is a school record for a running back.
Barkley ended his career as the school's career all-purpose yards leader with 5,538 yards.
Orleans Darkwa led the Giants with 751 yards rushing in 2017, running behind a weak offense line.