RB Saquon Barkley, Penn St.

6’0” – 233 lbs. – 4.40

Profile:

  • Made an immediate impact as a freshman, starting six of eleven games played and touching the ball over two hundred times. Had a highly productive sophomore campaign, with three hundred touches on offense and nearly 1,900 total yards, then had a similar total as a junior before declaring for the draft.

Positives:

  • Physical and athletic specimen with elite tools. Swiss army knife who can do everything. Takes a lot of his carries from the shotgun, and some from the wildcat as well. Has good burst to run between the tackles, getting behind his pads, slipping through gaps in the line, and falling forward for solid gains. Picks up yards after contact and can take defenders along for the ride. Greatest asset as a pure runner is his ability to create big plays where not much seemed possible; highly elusive, with the ability to juke defenders out of their shoes and bounce runs outside for big gains. Nearly impossible to tackle one on one in space. Very good balance. Has the vision and long speed to hit home runs. Used extensively as a receiver, including on snaps in which he lines up as a receiver and runs a variety of different routes. Able to work the middle of the field or threaten defenses downfield on wheel routes and other patterns. Ran back a couple of kickoffs for touchdowns this year as well. Was able to handle a heavy workload as his team’s workhorse. Has an outstanding character and work ethic by all accounts.

Negatives:

  • A little bit of a feast-or-famine back who can break big gains but also get caught in the backfield for losses more often than is usual for a high-end back. Looks for the big gain when solid gains would do. Production on a game-to-game basis was also a little bit inconsistent; rushed for over one hundred yards in just five games last year, and had three games under fifty rushing yards. Occasional focus drops in the passing game. Could be more consistent about staying upright when taking on rushers in pass protection; tends to duck his head and try to take out oncoming rushers low.

Summary:

  • One of the most complete running backs in recent memory; projects as a true feature back who can play every down and be the focal point of a team’s offense for years to come. A comparable prospect to the likes of Reggie Bush and Ezekiel Elliott and looks like a lock to be one of the top four picks.
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