“With the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select… running back Saquon Barkley.”
When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the New York Giants had selected Saquon Barkley, the sporting world went into meltdown. The NFC East outfit have finished under .500 in four of the last five years and that MUST change – Giants fans are hoping for a much-improved campaign in 2018. And with Barkley now giving New York a viable option out of the backfield, the Giants could be set to shine.
A quick scan of Barkley’s statistics as a sophomore and junior tells you everything you need to know. The Penn State Nittany Lions star scored 36 touchdowns in 27 games during this period – averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Barkley is explosive out of the backfield and he will take some of the pressure off quarterback Eli Manning; the two-time Super Bowl champion could enjoy a successful 2018 season with that added support.
Crucially, Barkley is capable of being New York’s three-down back. He racked up over 1,000 receiving yards from 102 catches during his college career; notching three touchdowns and averaging over 11 yards per reception. Keeping Barkley on the field rather than rotating will help Manning to keep the offense moving and it will also help prevent opposing defenses from making substitutions during a drive.
CBSSports.com writer Chris Trapasso believes that Barkley has more potential than Ezekiel Elliott had at this stage of his career – praise indeed considering how ‘Zeke’ has performed in the National Football League. Barkley became only the fifth running back taken in the first 10 picks since 2015; another positive sign for the Giants youngster. The Big Blue faithful will be expecting big things from Barkley from day one.
Is Barkley the real deal? Yes. Watch his college tape and appreciate greatness; you will not regret it. He is NFL-ready and the Giants will reap rewards from his extensive skillset – you don’t get many rookies like him. As of June 5th, the New York franchise are 50/1 in NFL betting odds for Super Bowl glory next year. Giants fans will be hoping for a playoff spot and from there, it would be foolish to write Barkley and co off.
— NFL (@NFL) May 31, 2018
Some believe that Barkley has the potential to enjoy a Hall of Fame-calibre rookie year, and he looks destined to take center stage in this Giants offense. Barkley’s arrival should help to keep defenses honest and that should open up space for the likes of Odell Beckham Jr and Sterling Shephard on the outside. Ultimately, the whole offense revolves around Barkley but the rookie is more than capable of taking that responsibility on.
Fans are dreaming of another memorable Super Bowl triumph but it may be a bit soon for that; New York’s primary objective this year should be to reach the playoffs. The Giants have lots of potential and you won’t find too many fans looking past Big Blue. Saquon Barkley could be the face of this franchise for the next decade – strap yourselves in, it’s going to be an explosive journey.