Brandt, Phil Savage talk QBs, Barkley, Giants during conference call
Conference calls with NFL Draft analysts. At this time of year, everybody holds them and we touch on what is said in as many of them as possible. One that slipped through the cracks last week was a call with Sirius XM NFL Radio analysts Gil Brandt and Phil Savage.
Brandt, of course, is the former Dallas Cowboys personnel executive who has now spent several years as an analyst for NFL Network. Savage was formerly general manager of the Cleveland Browns and is currently executive director for the Senior Bowl.
There were lots of New York Giants-related questions and topics talked about. Let’s summarize some of what was said.
In Giants-land there is much chatter about Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
“He’s the best running back to come up through the draft since Adrian Peterson ... Barkley has the speed and quickness and catching ability … I just think he’s a special player. I think when you put a special player on a team he might not average 5 yards a carry, but he averages 4.5. I’m sold on Barkley. I just think Barkley’s going to be a future star in this league.”
“You put their three-wide package out there with Evan Engram as the tight end that’s a lot of talent, a lot of skill and spatial ability. Saquon I think would absolutely elevate and add to the mix of that talent base.”
Giants GM Dave Gettleman often talks about the “gold jacket” test for the No. 2 pick. Could any of the QBs in this draft class become Hall of Famers?
“I think he [Josh Allen] has the work ethic and the intelligence to do it. I think Allen has got unbelievable upside. Whenever you bet on potential a lot of times you get stuck, but I think he has the temperament. He has everything, if he can just get that ball to come out a little more accurately I think he has just unbelievable upside.”
“I personally don’t see that kind of high side for this group of quarterbacks. I think they all can be starters, maybe even above-average starters … I think it’s difficult to forecast all of Fame careers for any of these guys although I think all of them could potentially be good players.”
Here is how the two veteran analysts assessed the quarterback class overall.
“If you don’t need a quarterback to play …. I think Allen has the most upside of anybody.”
“If you need a quarterback to play in 2018 I think [Josh] Rosen is the best.”
“I think if you want a quarterback that’s Drew Brees in the long run I think it’s the Oklahoma quarterback [Baker Mayfield].”
“If the USC quarterback [Sam Darnold] cuts down on his turnovers he could be the best of the four.”
“If you’re a GM or a team in need of a QB you feel compelled to roll the dice on one of them. Three four years from now we’re gonna talk about how one emerged as a good player, one was a total washout and three probably end up being somewhere in between.”
What the Giants do at quarterback in the draft has everything to do with what they really think about Eli Manning and his long-term future.
“I think you throw out everything from last year with Eli Manning, comply because the coaching situation was not good, the receiver situation was not good, the running back situation was not good.”
“If they take a quarterback that tells me they don’t think he’s got much left. If they don’t take a quarterback and go a different route then that means that they do believe that they think they can win with him as the QB.”