Saquon Barkley: 2018 NFL Draft Prospect

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 Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley should make an outstanding NFL running back. Read why all his positives might not translate to a high draft choice in the 2018 NFL draft.

School PagePenn State Football

Position: Running Back

College: Penn State

Height: 5-11

Weight: 223

40 Time: 4.38

NFL Draft Board Analysis

The NFL Draft Board.

NFL Draft Board Potential

Saquon Barkley came to the party about a decade, or more, late. Ten years ago, six NFL teams passed on Adrian Peterson before the Minnesota Vikings finally drafted him. Two years ago, nine teams passed on Todd Gurley before the LA Rams drafted him. It begs the question, how many teams will pass on Saquon Barkley before he an NFL drafts him? Barkley should come off the board in the first half of the first round, but it isn’t a safe bet. .

Comparative Position Ranking on the NFL Draft Board

Saquon Barkley sits at the top of the running back list on the NFL Draft Board. There are very few drawbacks to Barkley other than the fact he is a running back. The running back position fell out of favor as high powered offenses gain ground. It is almost to the point where a good slot receiver is more valuable to an NFL team than a power back. If the running back cannot double as a slot receiver, his value drops, sad, but true.

The New NFL Running Back

The Chicago Bears got a steal with drafting Matt Forte in the second round. In retrospect, the kind of running back Matt Forte was, an NFL team should have drafted him in the top ten. Forte actually led the Bears in receiving one year. That is the major hit on Saquon Barkley. It will be interesting to watch his career. Hopefully, some NFL team will teach him enough slot receiver technique so he can stay on the field on third downs (he already has the blocking part down). The biggest threat to Saquon Barkley’s draft status? The 2014 NFL draft-zero running backs were drafted in the first round.

Film

Notes

  • Played basketball and ran track in high school.
  • 2015: Second Team All-Big 10 as true freshman.
  • Holds Penn State’s freshman rushing record for true or redshirt freshman.
  • Tied Penn State’s freshman rushing touchdown record.
  • Freshman All-American.
  • 2016: Big 10 Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year.
  • Big 10 Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year.
  • First Team All-Big 10
  • Third Team AP All-American

Strengths

  • A freakish athlete with incredible strength and speed.
  • Can run inside or outside.
  • Good patience.
  • Can pass block.
  • Great north-south runner.
  • Good vision.
  • Decisive cuts.
  • Can identify the blitzer and neutralize.

Areas of Concern

  • Not the kind of running back the NFL is looking for anymore.
  • Averaged about two catches per game, that will have to increase in the NFL.
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