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Saquon Barkley | Running Back

Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
Age / DOB:  (21) / 2/7/1997
Ht / Wt:  6'0 / 233

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Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit assigned the New York Giants an "A" for their work in the draft.
Similar to his grade of the Patriots, Benoit applauds the Giants for "eschewing the temptation of gambling on tomorrow’s quarterback and instead building a contender around the smart veteran it has today." In that sense, the Giants nailed that approach, landing one of the most dynamic prospects in recent years with RB Saquon Barkley. Benoit believes "He and large, mobile guard Will Hernandez will give New York the ground game it has long been missing." I doubt Benoit factors in opportunity cost with his grades, but the rumors of GM Dave Gettleman "not even listening" to offers for the No. 2 pick have to be frightening for Giants fans. The picks themselves are worthy of a high grade. Apr 29 - 6:21 PM

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Giants selected Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Eli Manning is in the twilight of his career, but the Giants have gone with the player they believe is the best in the draft. Barkley (6’0/233) dominated all three years as a Nittany Lion, averaging 6.52 yards per touch with 54 career TDs; 43 as a rusher, eight as a receiver, two on kick returns, and one as a passer. On tape, Barkley marries LeSean McCoy’s lateral explosion with David Johnson’s size and versatility. Barkley showed rare passing-game chops for a college back, leading all NCAA running backs in receiving yards (632) and yards after catch (644) in 2017, and excelling as a pass blocker. Barkley broke the Combine, blazing 4.4-flat and posting superhuman 99th-percentile SPARQ results. Like Johnson, Barkley is a better perimeter player than tackle-grinding inside runner, but an ideal fit for today’s game.
Apr 26 - 8:24 PM

Rotoworld's Thor Nystrom projects the Buccaneers to select Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the seventh pick in his final mock draft.

Tampa Bay would likely sprint the card in if Barkley is still on the board, and no one would blame them. Barkley obviously has a chance of going in the top five -- maybe as high as second -- but Nystrom has four of the first five picks being quarterbacks, and then has the Colts taking Georgia LB Roquan Smith with pick six. "I previously mocked Derwin James here, Nystrom writes, "but if four quarterbacks go in the top-five and Cleveland opts for Bradley Chubb at 1.4, there’s a very real chance that the once unthinkable will happen—that Barkley, one of the draft’s three-best players, will drop into Tampa Bay’s lap at 1.7."
Source: Rotoworld
Apr 26 - 4:32 PM

A scout told Bob McGinn Football that Penn State RB Saquon Barkley is a "big Barry Sanders."

The full quote: "That dude is built to last. He’s a big Barry Sanders." Another scout told McGinn that Barkley was the "total package" because of his ability to create yards in the run game and also as a receiver. It wasn't all glowing, however, as one scout was curious why Barkley's production as a rusher was so much worse in 2017 than it was in 2016. That scout acknowledges that it likely had something to do with scheming, but it is worth mentioning. Barkley is a lock for the first five selections.
Apr 23 - 9:09 PM

NFL Draft Scout's Rob Rang reports that the New York Giants are "leaning heavily" towards taking Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the second pick.

Rang notes that Giants GM David Gettleman gushed about Barkley on Thursday, saying he's a player "that his mother could have scouted." He also said that the devaluing of running back was "a myth." "If you have a great running back, he immediately makes your quarterback better, your offensive line better and your passing game," he said. Both Rang and fellow NFL Draft Scout writer Dane Brugler project Barkley to go to the Giants. Where there's smoke there's fire, and there's a lot of smoke here.
Apr 20 - 6:17 PM

Of the running backs graded by ESPN's Todd McShay since 2007, Penn State's Saquon Barkley tied for the second-highest grade.

Former Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson drew McShay's top grade, followed in a tie by Barkley and former Arkansas RB Trent Richardson. On the tail of that trio were Ezekiel Elliott, Marshawn Lynch and Leonard Fournette. We've seen similar proclamations on Barkley before -- best since Adrian Peterson, generational talent, etc. There's been much rumored momentum toward his landing with the Giants at No. 2 come the start of the draft in one week.
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 19 - 4:39 PM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said that the team previously hosted Penn State RB Saquon Barkley for an official predraft visit.

Licht did not specify exactly when this visit took place, but it would have been Wednesday or earlier, as there will be no more predraft trips in this, the final week before the draft itself. If we're to just work the thought experiment of Barkley-to-the-Bucs for a moment, there are a few thorny spots to cut through before such a move would be possible. To begin with, the New York Giants -- selecting second overall -- have been heavily tied to the Penn State star in rumor this month but would need to pass on him. With the Jets presumably selecting a quarterback, the Bucs would still need Cleveland to look elsewhere at No. 4, likewise Denver and Indianapolis at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. Perhaps the most realistic path for Barkley to end up in a Tampa Bay jersey would be if we see teams begin to jostle upward to fight over the top quarterbacks in the class. This is very much possible, if not likely, and would have the side effect of pushing Barkley down the board.
Apr 19 - 2:13 PM

In an SI cover story, Ben Baskin writes Penn State RB Saquon Barkley's "handlers" at Roc Nation "don't want him in Cleveland."

"They want him to go second to the Giants and play in the media capital of the world," Baskin writes. "That’s where you can become the Face of the League." The writer adds Barkley's agent even "implored" him to pull an Eli Manning and request to not play for the Browns. This does not mean Barkley shares the same opinion, and he certainly wants to be drafted as early as possible.
Source: SI.com
Apr 18 - 11:29 AM

Referencing "important people in the building," ESPN's Todd McShay believes Penn State RB Saquon Barkley being drafted by the Giants "feels inevitable."

McShay says those decision makers believe Barkley can help the Giants be "a physical, run-first team" and be the face of the franchise for 10 years. For one, running backs don't stick with the same team for 10-plus years. Adrian Peterson might be the only example. Dave Gettleman drafted McCaffrey in the top 10, but it was based on an offensive shift. Prior to that he basically avoided the running back position in the draft, waiting until the third day. Barkley might be the pick at No. 2, but it isn't clean cut.
Apr 18 - 10:57 AM

Giants beat writer Jordan Raanan spoke with a personnel member "with knowledge of the Giants' thinking" who remarked all of the team's offseason moves point to selecting Penn State RB Saquon Barkley.

Raanan adds the Giants love Barkley. We all do. There are four scenarios: quarterback, Barkley, Bradley Chubb or a trade out. We know Dave Gettleman selected Christian McCaffrey int he top 10 last year, but Josh Norris notes that prior to that Gettleman did not use premium picks on the position. Chubb is his kind of prospect, big, powerful and a disruptor.
Source: ESPN
Apr 16 - 9:35 AM

New York Post's Paul Schwartz reports it "doesn't appear likely" the Giants will select a quarterback with the No. 2 pick.

Schwartz also said the Giants view Saquon Barkley as a "near-perfect prospect" and is "a better player than Ezekiel Elliott, who went No. 4 to the Cowboys in 2016." An NFL scout continued to build the hype around Barkley going to the Giants at No. 2 by saying "I thought all along this is the guy Dave (Gettleman) wants." In addition to these reports, Gettleman has never traded down during the five years he spent as the general manager of the Panthers. At this point, it seems to be a strong possibility the Giants don't trade out of the No. 2 spot and draft one of the best running back prospects in the past few years in Barkley. While drafting a running back early in the draft isn't a priority in the eyes of many, surrounding aging Giants QB Eli Manning with top-tier talent could be their way of attempting to hide his decline.
Apr 15 - 3:27 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah views Penn State RB Saquon Barkley as the best running back prospect in the last three draft classes.

In order, Jeremiah's top three backs of recent years are Barkley, Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott. The latter two backs both were drafted with the No. 4 pick in their respective classes. That's certainly a slot which could be home to Barkley, too, should Cleveland select a quarterback with the first selection as is widely expected. In a recent mock draft, NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler had the Penn State standout going just slightly lower than that, landing him at No. 6 with the Colts.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 12 - 1:29 PM

NFL Draft Scout's Dane Brugler projects the Colts to take Saquon Barkley with the sixth pick in his updated mock draft.

This was a common selection for the Colts when they had the third pick, and if he does get past the Giants and Browns, Indianapolis will likely be doing a jump for joy. "The Colts need offensive line and defensive help, but the firepower of Barkley might be too enticing," writes Brugler. "His presence and production in the backfield greatly helps Andrew Luck and the rest of the offense."
Apr 7 - 2:23 PM

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports that Penn State RB Saquon Barkley will take an official predraft visit to the New York Giants on Sunday.

With the Browns likely to select a quarterback at No. 1 -- they would appear to be down to Josh Allen or Sam Darnold -- the Giants are sitting in the catbird seat with the second overall selection. Uber-athlete Barkley will certainly be in play for that pick, assuming the Giants don't trade off of it. The latter possibility is one that we're keeping an eye on, as you can expect that New York GM Dave Gettleman will be receiving his fair share of calls regarding that lofty pick as we hit the predraft stretch run.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 5 - 7:47 PM

Cleveland Browns HC Hue Jackson said that Penn State RB Saquon Barkley is "definitely in the conversation" to be drafted by the team.

Nothing particularly new, here, as it was already expected that Barkley would be a contender to come off the board with one of Cleveland's two top-five selections. A friend of Browns GM John Dorsey recently told MMQB that he believes that the team might try for an offensive two-step of Wyoming QB Josh Allen (at No. 1) and Barkley (at No. 4) when it comes time to finally roll the dice. The team did sign Carlos Hyde earlier this offseason, but we don't realistically expect that to preclude them from drafting Barkley if the Penn State standout has their hearts all a-flutter.
Apr 2 - 3:29 PM