Giants Stopped 2018 NFL Draft Trade Offers Once Browns Took Baker Mayfield

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2018

Penn State's Saquon Barkley, right, poses with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the New York Giants during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Once the Cleveland Browns made Baker Mayfield the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft on Thursday night, the New York Giants had no hesitation about what they would do at No. 2.

Saquon Barkley was their guy. 

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman revealed afterward, via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com, that they were all-in on the Penn State running back, noting that the team had no interest in taking calls from teams interested in trading up: "We all had such a conviction on this kid that at the end of the day ... the only reason that pick wasn't in at 9:58 was because we had to wait until the five-minute mark. Otherwise it would have been in." 

"Basically, once Cleveland took Baker, I told our guys, 'Don't even waste your time. We're taking Saquon and we're going to run," Gettleman told ESPN's NFL Live, h/t Dunleavy.

There was talk that New York would be looking to take a signal-caller as the post-Eli Manning era nears, especially if Cleveland passed on former USC star Sam Darnold. There was also talk that the team would explore trading down. But once it was clear Mayfield was going No. 1, there was no question inside the Giants war room as to what they were going to do.

"We felt Saquon was the best player in the draft," Gettleman said, via Dunleavy. "I haven't seen a guy like this in a long time."

The decision to stay at No. 2 was made easier by the fact that the Giants never received an offer that blew them away.

"People call you and they want the second pick in the draft for a bag of doughnuts, a hot pretzel and a hot dog," Gettleman said, via Dunleavy. "It's like, 'Get away. Leave me alone. I ain't got time to mess around.'"

Drafts can lead to a lot of second-guessing if teams are 100 percent sold on their pick. That won't be the case here—New York has no doubts that Barkley is the best fit for the team.

In Barkley, the Giants added a player who can carry the ball, catch passes out of the backfield, block and return kicks. Adding that type of versatility to an offense that features a two-time Super Bowl MVP and Odell Beckham Jr. makes New York an intriguing team to watch next season.

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