Saquon is coming to the Meadowlands.
The Giants -- as had been expected for the last few weeks -- passed on taking a quarterback and instead selected Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 pick at the NFL Draft on Thursday night in Dallas.
Barkley said after the Giants selected him that he fell in love when he visited them.
"I'm just truly excited to be part of the New York Giants," Barkley added. "Hopefully I can go there and help as quickly as possible."
With Barkley selected at No. 2, he'll receive a four-year deal worth roughly $7.8 million per season -- the fourth-highest average annual value among all running backs -- according to Spotrac.
Barkley, 21, was viewed by most as the best player in the Draft, and Giants GM Dave Gettleman didn't try to hide his feelings about Barkley when speaking at his pre-Draft press conference last week.
"I'm not going to lie. He's a tremendous talent," Gettleman said. "You put the film on of a defensive guy and if they're playing Penn State, then I'm watching Saquon. He's one of those guys that my mother could have scouted. She could have figured that one out."
Gettleman added that he didn't buy in to the notion that selecting a running back as high as No. 2 was too high.
"If you have a great running back, he immediately makes your quarterback better, your offensive line better and your passing game (better)," he said. "So I don't believe in it. It's how you evaluate the players, how we value them, how we rate them and then you go on from there."
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported last week that there seemed to be no doubt that Barkley would be the No. 1 player on the Giants' board, and that they think building around an offensive core of Barkley, Evan Engram, and Odell Beckham, Jr. could make them an offensive juggernaut for years to come.
New Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said after taking over that he believes Eli Manning has "years left," and Gettleman has praised Manning since taking over as well.
And with the Giants tabbing Barkley over one of the quarterbacks available, they have put their confidence in Manning -- and perhaps eventually Davis Webb -- to keep them from entering the "Quarterback Hell" Gettleman has spoken so often about avoiding.
Meanwhile, Barkley -- who rushed 217 times last season for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns, while hauling in 54 catches for 632 yards and three touchdowns -- will give the Giants the most complete running back they've had since Tiki Barber. And perhaps their most exciting running back ever.
So much for the future. The Giants are undoubtedly trying to win now.
Faced with a chance to set themselves up for the post-Eli Manning decade by selecting their Quarterback of the Future, the Giants chose a running back that can instead help them in the present. And that's what they're counting on -- that a transcendent talent like Barkley can help them make one last Manning-era championship run.
Maybe that's a lot to hope for coming off a 3-13 season, but the new Giants regime of GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur believe they're not far off. They believe injuries and bad chemistry and attitude destroyed last year's team, and the truth about what the Giants are falls somewhere between last year's 3-13 disaster and the somewhat lucky 11-5 2016 team.
Barkley could be a guy that puts them over the top, or at least back in contention. The Giants truly seem to believe Manning has a little magic left in his right arm, and that now he has an array of dazzling weapons, including a hopefully healthy Odell Beckham, Jr., Sterling Shepard, and tight end Evan Engram, too. Barkley will provide the running game boost that has been lacking for years, and provide a weapon out of the backfield, too.
Really, as a player, he is as no-risk as they come. Some scouts and NFL executives have described him as a "perfect" prospect - a great player and person, too. A decade ago, taking a running back this high would've seemed foolish, considering how many good ones have been found in later rounds. But the recent selections of Ezekiel Elliott by the Cowboys and Todd Gurley of the Rams have changed that thinking.
The only issue for the Giants was whether they'd take a quarterback instead, which was debated a lot inside the organization. Many believed that the only quarterback Gettleman truly liked was USC's Sam Darnold -- who the Jets selected at No. 3. Others thought he was going Barkley no matter what quarterbacks were left on the board.
In the end, though, his quest for a "gold jacket" player at No. 2 led him to the player most believe is the closest thing to Hall of Fame quality in this draft. It likely will turn out to be a terrific pick. Whether it was a smart pick will be determined by what happens with the quarterbacks Gettleman let get away, and how easily he can find Manning's replacement sometime in the next few years.
Barkley can make them an immediate contender. They just have to hope that in a few years Barkley and the Giants aren't stuck in "Quarterback Hell."