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Mike Mayock: If Giants don’t love QB at No. 2, can’t go wrong with RB Saquon Barkley

The NFL Network draft analyst also made the case for the Giants going with offensive lineman Quenton Nelson.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley in action

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley in action during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Joe Robbins

INDIANAPOLIS — So what is Dave Gettleman thinking about for the No. 2 pick after two days of watching every offensive player at the Combine go through on-field drills and interviews?

That was the question asked of NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock on Saturday afternoon.

The answer — just as it would have been at the beginning of the week — was far from simple.

“First and foremost, if you fall in love with a quarterback at number two and you think he’s the guy for the next 10 years, you probably have to take him,” Mayock said. “However, if you don’t love the guy and don’t believe in him with all your heart and soul, Saquon Barkley, if he’s there at two, is the most obvious choice in the draft. He’s special, he’s different, he’s all those things.

“Then on top of that, just as a dark horse, the hog molly comes into play,” Mayock continued, using Gettleman’s favorite term for big, bruising linemen. “Quenton Nelson, in my opinion, is one of the two best players in this draft. I think Barkley and Quenton Nelson are the two best football players in this draft. And you’re sitting at number two and you’ve got a bad offensive line. You can talk all you want about the quarterbacks and the wideouts and the running backs, but if you can’t block for them, in his head, that’s got to be [a priority]. If you are talking about quarterback and what else is important, it’s fixing the offensive line. That doesn’t necessarily mean at two you take one, but he’d better fix the offensive line. I know he knows that. And you’d love to have Saquon Barkley back there.

“So it’s kind of like with a quarterback, are we banging the table for anybody there at the end of April? If we’re not banging the table it’s probably got to be Barkley.”


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