While it is expected New York Giants‘ first-round pick Saquon Barkley enjoys most of the carries in 2018, there’s still another serviceable back on the roster than will help lessen the load. For a rookie, it’s best to gradually insert them into the offense, but the Penn State star will take the field running. There will be no getting used to the speed and power of an NFL game, but rather the immediate hitting and physicality of its players.
For the Giants, bringing on veteran back, Jonathan Stewart, was a good move. Despite his pricey cap-hit, two-years, $6.9 million, he’s a solid back who can help Barkley in terms of development and adapting to the professional style. Stewart was a rock at running back for the Carolina Panthers throughout his career, splitting time with DeAngelo Williams. Now, he will play on the back-end of Barkley’s offense, picking up the crumbs and scarifying himself to the short yardage game.
What will be the roles of each player for the New York Giants?
Barkley will undoubtedly be the feature back, taking most of the reps out of the backfield. He will play an integral part in the running and passing game, which will open up the field for Eli Manning and force linebackers to play close to the line of scrimmage. Luckily for Barkley, there is not a single linebacker in the league that can match up one-for-one with the dynamic runner.
His elusiveness and lateral movement are simply too much for most defenders, which will give the Giants a huge leg up in terms of surprise and unpredictability.
Stewart offers more of a ground and pound game. He will push the line forward with his massive torso and grind out the extra yards necessary to extend drives. Ultimately, he’s a good option to take some first-down snaps and give Barkley the rest he needs to maintain his quality throughout the game. Additionally, look for Stewart to poach some goal-line touchdowns away from Barkley; he’s been known to leap over the defensive line and reach for the score.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 29, 2017