The Giants.com staff debates Big Blue topics as the offseason continues:
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction – Dan Salomone bringing the fire with his first Fact or Fiction following the draft. TOUGH statement. I’m going to go with fiction for two reasons. First off, I think Odell Beckham Jr. is going to have a monster bounce-back year and probably have a minimum of 1,350 receiving yards. That’s a high bar for Saquon Barkley to pass with only rushing yards. I would expect Barkley to have at least 1,700 total yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving yards combined), but I’m not sure he’ll get to 1,300 rushing yards. My guess is Barkley will not average more than 18-20 rushes per game because he will be so involved in the passing game. Eighteen carries a game at 4.5 yards per carry will get Barkley to just under 1,300 rushing yards. I would expect 5-7 catches per game from him, however, including a number of looks down the field for some big plays.
>> STEWART A WILLING MENTOR TO BARKLEY
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction – Here’s the cart. The horse is way down at the other end of the field. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much – with either of these playmakers. Odell is still coming back from surgery, and Saquon hasn’t had a practice rep in an NFL uniform. I’ll stick with Odell, though, as a proven veteran. If we were talking all-purpose yards, I’d go with the rookie. I think Pat Shurmur is going to want to throw the ball to the No. 2 pick in the draft early and often.
LANCE MEDOW: Fiction – Odell Beckham has played all 16 games just once in his first three seasons in the NFL, yet he still managed to post at least 1,300 receiving yards in each of those campaigns and that production has come with a variety of different players surrounding Beckham. Saquon Barkley is more than capable of rushing for 1,000 yards, but assuming Beckham is fully healthy, I don’t think he’ll surpass the Giants’ top receiver on the ground alone. And you can’t overlook the fact that Jonathan Stewart, Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins will all likely be in the mix, eating into some of Barkley’s totals in the run game.
This was the Giants’ most important draft since 2004.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact – When you pick second overall, the draft is going to be more important. The highest the Giants selected in the draft since 2004 (fifth overall) was 2015, when they selected ninth. Whenever a team selects second overall, they have a chance to draft a transcendent player, and the Giants think they have one in Saquon Barkley. They then used their second round pick to take a road-grading lineman in Will Hernandez, who should create space for Barkley. The path forward is set for the next few seasons, in part thanks to what the choices the Giants had to make with the second overall pick.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact – Part of me wants to be cliché and say every draft is important, because it really is. That is not just general manager or coach speak. However, it is just different when you’re drafting in rarefied air at No. 2. Gettleman never shied away from his expectations of drafting that high – you have to envision that player in the Hall of Fame. That is what made this draft more important than the other ones as the team tries to bounce back…