The New York Giants are in danger of losing superstar running back Saquon Barkley this offseason. Amidst contract negotiations with Barkley, the Giants have met with the top running back prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft class, Bijan Robinson.
Why the New York Giants are looking at running back options
Saquon Barkley and the Giants are negotiating a contract extension, however, the Giants are clearly prioritizing their negotiations with QB Daniel Jones over Barkley. Barkley will be tagged if New York can extend Jones head of Tuesday’s franchise tag deadline. However, if Jones is not extended by the deadline, Barkley could find himself hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
The Giants and Saquon Barkley are “not close to a deal,” per Ian Rappoport of NFL Network. If Saquon Barkley does leave in free agency, there are no better ways to replace him than with Bijan Robinson, who many are describing as the best running back prospect in the draft in “many years.”
Could the Giants draft Bijan Robinson?
Robinson finished ninth in Heisman voting in 2022 after totaling 1,580 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns for Texas this season. He also added 19 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns (20 total touchdowns from scrimmage). Robinson finished fourth all-time at the University of Texas in rushing yards.
Bijan Robinson is listed as the third-best prospect in this year’s draft class by The Draft Network. Robinson has “every skill set wanted in a modern NFL running back and is one of the best running back prospects that have entered the draft in the past 10 years,” according to TDN.
Ian Rappoport says that the Giants “still do hope to work something out and bring Barkley back,” however, the possibility of Saquon departing this spring increases daily. Barkley totaled a career-high 1,312 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns this season, finishing third in voting for the Comeback Player of the Year Award and being selected to the second Pro Bowl of his career.
Despite the historic season Barkley just had, the Giants seem unwilling to pay the running back his asking price. Picking 25th overall in the first round of this year’s draft, New York could consider drafting Bijan Robinson and making him the star of their offense in 2023 and beyond.