Saquon Barkley : The Next New York Giants Franchise Player – by Alexander George
1st Round, 2nd Pick (RB) Saquon Barkley, Penn State
First round New York Giants draft pick Saquon Barkley, from Penn State, is projected to join the ranks of all-time great Giant running backs. More importantly, the Giants organization are finally a two-dimensional offense again with the addition of Barkley. It is clear with the addition of the Penn State running back, in which he was considered the highest graded player in the entire NFL draft by many, that the Giants are all in for getting that Lombardi trophy in the next couple of seasons.
Born as a native New Yorker, Saquon Barkley received immediate recognition from his football colleagues at Penn State awarding him as a “Second – Team All Big Ten” member. He would be elevated to a “First – Team All Big Team” in his next two seasons. Other accolades for Barkley would include two-time Big Ten Offensive player of the year in 2016 and 2017 along with being voted as part of the College Football American team in 2017.
Saquon Barkley’s status as the number one graded, drafted player is validated through his rushing (3,843 yards, 5.8 yards per carry and 43 TDs) receiving (102 Receptions for 1,195 yards and 8 TDs) and special teams (2 kickoff touchdowns) play. Barkley is also the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (43), rushing yards as a freshman (1,076) and sophomore (1,496) in Penn State history. His most notable, individual games were in 2017 Rose Bowl, where he rushed for 194 yards, including a 79 yard touchdown run and his first Big Ten Opener in his junior year against the Iowa Hawkeye where he had more all-purpose yards, 358, than the entire Hawkeye offense.
Saquon Barkley was able to achieve these Penn State records due to the dynamic qualities the great running backs of the past have. Barkley can be inserted in various running situations, such as third down and goal line scenarios, without any trepidation by a football coaching staff due to his power running in getting extra yardage through his lower body strength. Also, Barkley can break tackles, find the open running lanes and direction without any decrease in speed. His receiving capabilities are just as prominent with excellent route running and the ability to catch balls by adjusting his location to where the ball is thrown.
So in acquiring Saquon Barkley, the New York Giants clearly have a franchise player and an-all purpose running back in what Gettleman hopes would be a future gold jacket wearer. Canton may be in Barkley’s distant future.