LaDainian Tomlinson Raves About Giants’ Saquon Barkley

If you had any doubt in your mind in regard to New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley’s talents, take it from LaDainian Tomlinson himself, they’re bountiful. The Hall of Fame running back knows a generational talent when he sees one. He hasn’t been able to contain his optimism in the Giants’ first-round draft pick.

Barkley has it all- running, catching, and blocking abilities. He’s an all-around back that can take over a game in the blink of an eye. His dynamic style of play only benefits an offense that already has Odell Beckham Jr. and starlet tight end, Evan Engram. Eli Manning finally has the secret weapon at running back he has craved since his inception in the NFL in 2004. He’s had several quality backs throughout his tenure but none like Barkley.

Tomlinson raves over the Giants’ Saquon Barkley:

 

Who Is Giants’ Saquon Barkley’s NFL Comparison?

The NFL is full of talented running backs that have the ability to break open a game at any moment – LeVeon Bell, Ezekiel Elliot, Alvin Kamara… For the New York Giants, it’s Saquon Barkley. The second overall pick in the draft has a heavy load of expectations resting upon his shoulders, yet he doesn’t seem affected by it.

Barkley enters the league at 234-pounds with a sub 4.40 (40 yard-dash). He owns nearly every weight lifting record at Penn State and is ranked No. 2 in most yards in the university’s history. His abilities are world class, and there’s no denying he will continue to develop and cast his skill-set upon the opposing defense.

Why the Giants and Barkley are in a position to succeed:

Adding a generational talent to a team with Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard, only adds to the intimidation of the Giants’ offense. There’s simply not enough defenders to cover each player. It will force linebackers to try and cover Barkley, which as we know, is impossible. When B.J. Goodson and Olivier Vernon were asked to cover the rookie running back, it was simply too much for them to handle.

But when you look at Barkley, what do you see in him? Does he compare to any other back in the league? In my opinion, he most resembles Arizona’s David Johnson, but even better. Johnson has immense agility and power between the tackles. His frame is similar to that of Barkley (6-foot-1, 225-pounds, Johnson) – (6-foot, 234-pounds, Barkley).

The Cardinals back is dangerous in the open field, as he can jump cut on a dime and change direction. Barkley has a similar skill-set but with more speed and quickness. Consider the fact that Johnson had 1,239 rushing yards and 879 receiving yards with 20 total touchdowns in 2016. Those numbers are impressive, but Barkely can mimic those and more.

With several weapons taking the pressure off of him to open up the field, he will be left in the flat against linebackers. Barkley will have a field day, and if you’re a fantasy football player, you should draft Barkley if given the opportunity.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley’s Impact On The NFC East

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Facing off against the New York Giants usually meant Odell Beckham Jr. would receive 75% of the pass-attempts, the running game would be lackluster, and the offensive line would be swiss cheese. Well, those days are over, and the NFC East is about to see a major shakeup with the way the Giants approach every game and how they utilize their talent.

First-round draft choice, Saquon Barkley, presents a significant threat out of the backfield – even more-so than any runners on the Eagles or Redskins. The only back that presents more of a threat is Ezekiel Elliot, due to him having NFL experience. Barkley could easily surpass the likes of Elliot with a year in the NFL under his belt. In fact, he could be better right out of the gate, but let’s not assume anything until it’s proven true.

The shakeup:

Barkley finished 2017 with 632 receiving yards, only 23 less than Pittsburgh Steelers’ LeVeon Bell, who had 655. While Barkley was still in college and was facing off against lesser talent, we can still look at the stats as a foreshadowing of what’s to come. Penn State lacked talent on the offensive side of the ball for the most part, and Barkley presented their most lethal target. Defenses knew that and game-planned for him. On the other hand, Bell had Antonio Brown to open up the secondary and keep the linebackers honest. He also has one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Ben Roethlisberger.

Comparing the two might be like apples and oranges, but their skill-sets are similar. They both acquire immense agility and the ability to exploit gaps in the defense. Bell has better vision on the interior while Barkley tends to bounce it outside for extra yardage. For the Giants, Barkley presents one of the most lethal running backs the league might ever witness, and we get to root for him week-in and week-out.

What he needs to work on:

As stated before, Barkley tends to bounce the ball outside when he feels pressure from the interior. Sometimes, it’s better to simply run it straight up the gut and grind out a yard or two instead of getting tackled for a loss in an attempt to get around the edge. It’s all about opportunity cost. If you make one decision, you could be gaining positive yardage from another. In 2016, 23.2% of Barkley’s runs went for zero or negative yardage. But there’s a caveat – Barkley predominantly ran out of the shotgun formation, effectively taking his momentum away and forcing him to choose a hole without any burst or speed, which caused him to use his lateral agility to bounce it to the exterior.

This problem will disappear with the Giants, as they run a lot of I-formation plays, so Eli Manning can work the play-action and have Barkley appear in the flat. It will be a different type of running for Barkley, but one that should benefit him on the field.

Why the NFC East should be scared:

The rest of the division should be worried about the Giants’ new back. He is an all-around play maker and can do anything that’s asked of him. They haven’t faced a back like this before, and never from the Giants… Jerry Reese made sure of that. Expect to see Barkley get a lot of usage early in the year, as they break him in like a pair of shiny new shoes.

During minicamp, Barkley was asked if he had dropped a pass since becoming a Giant, his response, according to Giants.com:

“I did. I dropped one,” the second overall selection conceded today after a minicamp workout. “That is something that I pride myself on. You come out here every single day and you want to be perfect. When I mean perfect, I don’t mean a perfect player, but you want to go through practice without drops. Sometimes it reassures you that you have to get back on the jugs and catching after practice. There is a ball that I caught 100 times and I dropped it, because I was trying to turn up field instead of securing the catch. I kind of worked on that after and it has not happened since. That is just a part of the game. I hate making mistakes, but I love making mistakes. I love having MA’s (missed assignments) and drops. It reassures you and makes you get back on your grind, lock in and focus a little more. It is better to happen now and in practice than in week one against Jacksonville or preseason against the Browns.”

The Giants have struggled in the past with dropped passes, but Barkley will take that statistic and shove it up your… You get the point.

The NFC East should be worried, because Barkley makes the right decision nearly every time, whether it’s before the play, running full speed at a defender, or breaking out into a route. He knows the game, and he knows how to deceive even the most gifted athletes. So be wary, Cowboy’s fans, because the Giants have a new weapon that has yet to be unleashed.

What Giants’ Saquon Barkley’s Workload Might Look Like In 2018

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in week one of the regular season, offering up a tough test for a team coming off a 3-13 campaign. The addition of running back Saquon Barkley provides the Giants with the fire-power they need to take advantage of an above-average Jags defense.

Barkley brings a heightened sense of elusiveness for an offense that lacked spunk and unpredictability in 2017. Last season, Orleans Darkwa held the reigns to the backfield with a healthy dose of Wayne Gallman. Darkwa performance valiantly, racking up 751 yards with 4.4 yards per carry. Behind a lackluster offensive line Darkwa managed finish the year strong with a 72 yard run against the Redskins in week 17.

General manager Dave Gettleman made it a priority to address the offensive line this offseason, drafting Will Hernandez and signing left tackle Nate Solder and guard Patrick Omameh.

What will Barkley’s workload look like?

We should expect to see the Giants’ first-round pick take on a massive role right from the get-go. Being that Barkley is an all-around back capable of running, catching, and blocking, his usage will likely start off at 15-17 touches per game and anywhere from 3-5 receptions.

His ability to deliver a block and bounce outside for a screen pass might be one of the Giants’ go-to plays in the coming season. Especially against the Jags in week one, he will be the featured player in their offensive scheme.

Having wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Evan Engram to help keep the defense on their heels will force opposing linebackers to stick with Barkley, who will ultimately leave them in his dust every time. We have already witnessed Barkley face off against B.J. Goodson and Alec Ogletree in the short passing game in which both were unable to keep up with his agility and speed.

Why Giants’ Saquon Barkley Has More Potential Than Ezekiel Elliot

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

At first glance, New York Giants prized first-round pick Saquon Barkley, looks like a small freight train on his way to run for a glorious touchdown. Barkley astounds viewers with his massive calves and colossal upper body.

Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot presents himself in a similar way – lean, built, and ready to carry his team on his massive shoulders. Despite the physical similarities, the two players are vastly different. One is a proven NFL star and the other an incoming rookie with some of the most impressive measurable the league has ever seen. Running a 40-yard dash in 4.30 seconds at 234-pounds is pure insanity, and GM Dave Gettleman for the Giants realized that early on in the draft process.

After watching Barkley make several jump-cuts to avoid tacklers and take the ball to the house from his own half, Gettleman immediately knew who the Giants were selecting, and he didn’t waiver from his initial thoughts by the media or his counterparts.

The primary difference between Barkley and Elliot:

Taking a look at both backs you can see a world of talent, but the primary difference for Barkley is his extraordinary personality and leadership abilities. He has humor, respect, humbleness, and the ability to lead his teammates into battle.  Elliot on the other hand lacks this characteristic – the various legal issues attest to that.

What Elliot has is proof of success, as he makes a significant difference on his team. When the running back was suspended last season, the Cowboys and Dak Prescott faltered as a result.  In two seasons, Elliot has racked up 22 total rushing touchdowns and three receiving. He also missed 1,000 rushing yards by only 17 yards in only 10 games last season.

While Elliot has proven his ability on the field, Barkley has the capability to equal his stats if not more. With a veteran quarterback, a star receiver, starlet tight end, and rejuvenated offensive line, Barkley will have all of the tools to keep the offense unpredictable and forward thinking.

The most lethal aspect of both running backs:

The most  lethal ability of both backs is their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield in addition to running the ball. Barkley has only dropped one pass since beginning rookie camp with the Giants – an impressive bout considering the amount of action he gets.

Zeke on the other hand has over 620 yards receiving in 25 games, averaging out at about 25 yards receiving per-game. We can even make the assumption that Barkley is more of a threat in the passing game and will enjoy better stats in that aspect of the game.

Overall, both backs have tremendous talent and are still young professionals. Barkley likely has more potential, but Elliot has already proven his worth in the NFL. We will soon see how the Giants’ back will take on a starting role on a team trying to bounce back from a 3-13 season.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Shows Off Massive Legs At Yankees Game

When you come across your local tree, you usually think, “hmm, just another tree,” but don’t be mistaken, you might just be looking at New York Giants‘ running back Saquon Barkley’s legs.

Barkley was taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, and just as the EPA would say… “We are going green!”

The Giants have provided not one, but two tree trunks to sprout some new life into the offense.. Just check them out here!

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The rookie running back brings an elevated sense of confidence and versatility for an offense that has lacked serious gusto and unpredictability in recent years. His unparalleled ability to jump cut away from pressure and bounce the ball away from defenders will be an essential tool to keep plays alive and converting on third down.

Who’s Barkley hanging with?

Barkley has spent a lot of time hanging around with Odell Beckham Jr., who seems to have returned from his injury with a more mature mentality and a renewed dedication to his team. After missing OTAs last season and grabbing negative attention from the media, Beckham turned the tables this time around, enjoying practice with his teammates for the first portion of the voluntary workouts.

Beckham and Barkley have had a growing relationship since before the 2018 NFL Draft, which only benefits the Giants, as their two best players now have a healthy chemistry to work with.

Utilizing Barkley and OBJ on the offense will be extremely interesting, as defenses will now have to honor the run game, forcing them to leave Beckham in single coverage – a daunting task for any cornerback. It will also open up the field for tight end Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. Finally, quarterback Eli Manning has the tools to show off his best self – a play-action and audible connoisseur.

New York Giants Safety Can’t Stop Raving About Saquon Barkley

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

New York Giants‘ Saquon Barkley has been turning heads since the first day of rookie minicamp. He has been able to showcase has instincts as a ball carrier, has excelled at catching the ball, and has been able to pick up blitz protection. He can even throw the ball pretty well.

The coaches, media, and fans have all enjoyed watching Saquon Barkley’s first weeks as a New York Giant. But, what is really important is how the players feel about him.

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One player had some high praise for the rookie:

Landon Collins has been a spectator so far this offseason while recovering from forearm surgery. So, he has been able to see everything that happens on the field from a different perspective.

“He hit a hole so explosive and so fast [on Monday], I was like, I’ll probably get out of the way a little bit [if I was on defense],” Collins joked on Tuesday at a Thuzio question and answer event at Slate with Tiki Barber in Manhattan, via The Post. “He’s got great vision, great hands out of the backfield. He’s going to be awesome. Best thing I love about him is he’s so humble.”

It is no secret that Landon Collins is a player that speaks his mind, so getting a vote of confidence from him should mean a lot to Barkley. We all know, Landon Collins would not say those things if he did not mean them.

This was not the first time Landon Collins spoke praise of Saquon Barkley though.

“Best thing about Saquon Barkley being on our team is the fact that I won’t have to try to tackle him,” Collins said shortly after the draft.

This is especially meaningful coming from one of the harder hitting safeties in the league, who does not shy away from contact.

I too am happy with Saquon Barkley being a Giant.

How The New York Giants Can Keep Saquon Barkley Healthy

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants have some strategy choices coming up after drafting Saquon Barkley. On one hand, the coaching staff should want him on the field as much as possible after the second pick was spent acquiring him. With Eli Manning aging, it’s also important that the Giants can run the ball often and take some of the pressure away from the quarterback position.

On the other hand, it may be smart to let Barkley split snaps with another back to preserve his value. Jonathan Stewart, who the Giants picked up this offseason from the Panthers, may be a useful player for short yardage situations if the Giants do decide to not use Barkley as a three down back.

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How did Stewart perform last season?

For those that are unfamiliar with him, let’s look at Stewart’s numbers last season. He played for Carolina from 2008 to 2017, and last year, he played in 15 games and rushed for 680 yards. His rushing yards have dropped in each of the past two years, but with the Giants, there will be much less pressure on him as the majority of the snaps will go to Barkley instead.

Stewart had an average of 3.4 yards per attempt, but if he’s used as a short yardage back, that’s not too bad. However, it’s important to consider the skill sets of both players. Stewart can pick up a few yards consistently, but Barkley is more explosive. If he runs off tackles and has a chance to shake off defenders in open space, he can turn a short yard situation into a big gain.

He did it at Penn State with an offensive line that was fairly average, and even bad at times. With better support from the revamped Giants line, Barkley should have a better chance at turning short yardage runs into larger gains past the first down marker.

Still, running backs are known for having shorter careers than other positions, and after spending the number two pick on Barkley, the Giants will want as many years from him as possible. Stewart doesn’t have the same big play potential and will only be an average back, even in short yardage scenarios, but giving him some snaps will wear Barkley out less.

The right strategy might be somewhere in the middle. If the Giants will be a playoff team, they need big contributions from Barkley, and using him as a three down back would be advisable. However, during easier games on the schedule it would be wise to give Stewart more snaps and allow Barkley some rest, even if his usage is still above average for a rookie running back.

The Giants drafted Barkley partially because he can be used in a number of ways. If they don’t use him whenever they can in important games, they’re losing out on some of the value they gained when they drafted him. However, despite his career trajectory trending down in the last couple of years, Jonathan Stewart should be a good option to fill in for Barkley a bit in games that are safe enough to give the Giants number one running back a bit of a rest.

Saquon Barkley’s Primary Mentor Isn’t Odell Beckham Jr.

It is no secret that New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley have become friends. In fact, they have been training together since before Saquon was drafted. But they have gotten a lot closer since the draft and Odell has offered help and tips to be a professional.

While OBJ may be taking Saquon Barkley under his wing a bit, he may not be his only mentor on the team. Who is then?

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Saquon on learning from Eli Manning:

Eli Manning is as knowledgeable as a coach when it comes to running on offense, and Saquon knows that. It is smart to train to learn as much as you can from your future Hall of Fame quarterback to be the best he can be.

While OBJ and Saquon Barkley may be becoming close friends, Eli Manning may be the true mentor while Saquon learns to be a true professional. While Saquon may think his questions could be annoying to Eli, I am sure that is not true at all. Eli Manning is a true team player and wants to help everybody be the best that can be.

Barkley will be an influential factor in the offense next season, and learning the offense will be of the utmost priority. Manning is the one player on the offense that knows where everybody needs to be at all times, and Barkley will need to soak in all of the knowledge he can get his hands on.

There’s no doubt that the young running back has ever had a more intelligent and talented QB to work with, which presents him with a rare opportunity. OTAs represents the first time the two have been able to work with one another, and its also the beginning of a blossoming relationship on the offense. While Manning and OBJ already have a stellar relationship, they’re both going to need to make room for one more to join the party.

Here’s What Saquon Barkley’s Workload Should Look Like In 2018

The newest running back for the New York Giants, Saquon Barkley, is possibly the best talent at the position that we have seen in over a decade. Barkley is expected to make an immediate and massive impact on the Giants’ offense and team.

The Giants already have Odell Beckham Jr., one of the most explosive players in the game, Sterling Shepard who continues to improve in the slot, and Evan Engram the sophomore tight end that creates mismatches all over the field.

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With the addition of Saquon Barkley, this Giants offense could be one of the most explosive units in the NFL, at least on paper.

What can we expect from Saquon Barkley in his rookie season?

Saquon Barkley’s talent is undeniable, but the scheme he is playing in will have a lot to do with his success in the NFL. Good thing his new head coach, Pat Shurmur, is a great offensive mind that loves to use the running back in various ways.

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“The running back is an easy guy to fit in an offense,” Shurmur said after the draft. “You have to turn around and hand it to him. It doesn’t take a genius to do that. Then, a lot of times when you try and throw the ball downfield and they cover them all, you can dump him off the ball, or you can feature him in the pass game. I have seen the effects of a really, really good running back not only on the offense, but on the team.”

Looking back to 2017, Pat Shurmur had a three-down back in Dalvin Cook, and he was on the field for 75% of offensive snaps. Cook rarely left the field and was used in the red zone, on the goal line, and on third down. Barkley is light years ahead of Cook when it comes to talent, and I expect him to have a similar workload.

In past years, the Giants tried to force a power running game when they simply did not have the personnel to do so. With a revamped offensive line and their new dynamic running back, I expect the Giants to mix up their running game. Saquon Barkley had success in power and zone schemes at Penn State, even with a subpar offensive line.

“The thing that makes him different is he has the feet and speed of a little guy, with the power and strength of a big guy,” Gettleman said when asked about Barkley. “That’s what makes him so darn unique. He’s different. It’s like he was touched by the hand of God, frankly.”

Summary

Offensive Rookie of the Year is what I expect from Saquon Barkley in 2018. He will be all over the field, rarely leaving, and touching the ball 20-25 times per game. When asked if Barkley could take on a Leveon Bell type role, Pat Shurmur did not rule out the possibility.

“He could handle that type of a load if need be. We’ll just have to see as we go and put this thing together.” Shurmur said.