Jacobs: Eli Manning Can Be Best QB In NFL

With Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Jacobs believes Eli could play another 3-5 seasons

The DA Show
May 08, 2018 - 12:37 pm

USA Today Images


The New York Giants drafted Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall in this year’s NFL Draft, and many fans hated the pick. Former Giant and two-time Super Bowl champion Brandon Jacobs, however, did not.

“I think that was the best pick the Giants have made in probably 15 years,” Jacobs said on The DA Show. “No question about it. The guy can do a whole lot. The guy is a legit running back. He can catch the ball out the backfield, he can be a kickoff returner, he can do a whole lot – (things) that a lot of players just can’t do. He brings so much value to the team where they need it.”

Many Giants fans, however, would disagree. Barkley may be a unique talent, but in today’s pass-happy NFL, investing the No. 2 pick on a running back seems unwise, no?

“The running back is the best player on the field,” Jacobs said. “He’s the most athletic, the toughest, has the most heart. You can’t find a way around not having a good back. Yes, they are throwing the ball, but still, you got pass protection, you got a back catching the ball out of the backfield – you got to have a guy that can get in there and do that. Saquon is every bit of that. That’s the best pick the New York Giants have ever made. There’s no question about it.”

Jacobs believes that Barkley will lead the Giants to a 12-4 record, which would be their best mark since 2008. He also thinks that Barkley will extend Eli Manning’s career.

“If you got guys who are going to protect him and keep him upright, I think Eli can play another three, four, five years,” Jacobs said. “That’s just me talking about knowing where his heart and determination is. I know Eli personally. I know him like the back of my hand. He’s going to play, he’s going to fight, he’s going to scratch with you – he’s going to do everything he needs to do. If they can keep him upright, Eli still has a chance to be better than any quarterback in the league. That’s just me speaking the truth.”

Many analysts would argue that Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the best quarterbacks in the league. Jacobs feels Manning can play at that level.

“Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback, don’t get me wrong,” Jacobs said. “He brings so much to the Packers, and when the Packers don’t have him, they just seem real average. But I think Eli has a great chance to be up there with those guys.”

Of course, it helps having perhaps the most talented – albeit perhaps the most polarizing – wide receiver in the game. Indeed, Odell Beckham Jr.’s production cannot be questioned, but he has been criticized for his antics both on and off the field, including a video that surfaced in March in which he appeared to be using drugs while lying in bed with a woman.

Jacobs feels the video was much ado about nothing.

“Everybody’s trying to kill Odell for some decisions he makes,” Jacobs said. “He’s a young kid living the life. He’s not doing anything wrong. He’s not shaking anybody down at the door. He’s not doing any of that type of stuff. He met up with somebody. I don’t see what he did wrong.”

Jacobs, who played in the NFL from 2005-13, believes players are held to an unfair standard these days.

“You have no idea the stuff the guys did back when we were playing,” Jacobs said. “No idea. No clue whatsoever. Because we didn’t have social media. The stuff that’s put out about Odell is baby talk compared to some stuff I’ve seen. Leave the guy alone. Let him play football. Get off of his back. . . . He ain’t committing any murders. He’s doing what an NFL football player is supposed to be doing. 

“Tell me one thing he’s done wrong,” Jacobs continued. “He didn’t do anything wrong. He has not been arrested. Social media is the reason people call him a quote-unquote distraction to the team. Leave the young man alone and let him enjoy his life. Everybody’s going to die and look back and say, ‘I should have did this, I should have did that, I had the opportunity to do this, I had the opportunity to do that – and I didn’t do it.’ You know what? Shame on you.”