'Strong sentiment for Saquon Barkley' within Giants, says former GM candidate Louis Riddick
New Jersey Local | 5 days ago

If the Giants hired Louis Riddick instead of Dave Gettleman as general manager, Saquon Barkley likely would be headed to New Jersey in two weeks.

Riddick, who interviewed for the vacancy with the Giants in December, said he would pick the Penn State running back with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. That means passing on a quarterback to eventually succeed Eli Manning.

"I think Saquon Barkley is just a special kid," Riddick said Monday on an ESPN teleconference. "I think he will help Eli because he will give him someone who he can turn around and hand the ball to 25-28 times a game.

"His versatility as far as being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, his willingness to pass protect, his ability to help the offense overall as far as ball control which will make the defense better, I think he presents something that can really help this football team not just offensively but defensively as well because of how complementary team football comes into play."

Re-drafting 2017 NFL Draft: Running backs on rise, one for Giants?

Giants co-owner John Mara sounded last month like he is on board with picking Barkley with the No. 2 pick, while Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur essentially have been drooling over the possibility of getting the top running back in the draft.

A running back hasn't been picked No. 1 overall since 1995 or No. 2 overall since 2007, but Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys and Leonard Fournette of the Jaguars were top five picks in the last two drafts, respectively.

Is the Barkley love from the Giants just a smokescreen to cover their true intentions?

"I have a feeling there is a strong, strong, strong sentiment within that building for Saquon Barkley," Riddick said, "based upon my experience there, if you know what I mean."

If the Browns surprised by taking Barkley and not a quarterback with the No. 1 pick, Riddick's second choice for the Giants is North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb.

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