Plenty of other positions of need were on the board, but the Giants wanted the star runner and decided to wait until 2019 to draft a quarterback in Daniel Jones.
That was yet another controversial decision.
Yet fans seem to have faith in head coach Joe Judge, even after another losing season in 2020.
Getting healthy again was a focus for 2021 and that is why fans were concerned with Barkley showing up on the injury report before the start of the season.
Well, it appears he is ready to go for Week 1.
What the Giants have seen this week from Saquon Barkley has been “promising.” One more obstacle Friday but it would take a setback for him not to be ready vs. Broncos, per Joe Judge.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) September 10, 2021
Barkley’s knee was in focus after tearing his ACL early last season.
Being cleared to go Week 1 should mean he is back and fully healthy.
A Top Talent Back On The Field
Barkley showed up in 2018 and ran for 1,307 yards en route to being named Offensive Rookie of the Year and making the Pro Bowl.
Saquon Barkley looks ready to play on Sunday, per HC Joe Judge
HE'S BACK 😈 pic.twitter.com/4HBDvFRxfS
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 10, 2021
He also added 721 receiving yards to go over 2,000 total yards for the year.
The rookie looked like an unstoppable force, even if the team did finish 5-11.
That fact was a bit of the argument against taking any running back so early.
He played great, but the team did poorly as a whole.
However, any team that just drafted at No. 2 overall has more problems than just one position.
Barkley returned in 2019 and went over 1,000 yards in only 13 games.
2020 was the nightmare scenario, as Barkley went down with an ACL tear in Week 2.
His health now remains a huge focus for the Giants as they try to return to relevance and post a winning season for the first time since 2016.
Figuring Out The Future
Giants GM Dave Gettleman has essentially said Barkley and Jones are the duo to lead the Giants back to greatness.
If that is not the case, and soon, he will be out of a job.
Getting a healthy Barkley on the field with Jones allows everyone in the organization to see if they are truly the new franchise saviors.
Barkley will be due for a new deal soon as he enters his fourth season, while Jones will be on the clock as well this offseason following his third NFL season.
This is arguably the most important Giants season of the past decade following the Super Bowl win in 2011.
Eli Manning is gone and the Giants need to fully begin a new era.
If two former top picks in Barkley and Jones are not the answer, the team will have to start over and that means cleaning house in the locker room and in the front office.
No one in New York wants that.NEXT: Daniel Jones Must Be Face Of Giants For Team To Succeed