In this 2018 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of running back Saquon Barkley out of Penn State University.
Saquon Barkley is considered the top running back in the 2018 NFL Draft from every NFL Insider. Barkley has an NFL ready skill set and should very well as a very dominant running back in the league. Many teams want him and with his skill set, he will improve any roster the moment he’s drafted.
For how small and big Barkley is, he reminds people of Hall of Famer Barry Sanders. He enters the draft at 5-11 and weighs in at 229 pounds. For how well Sanders ran, Barkley is the same way but even tougher. Barkley almost replicates him the same way he plays the position with his elusiveness.
Barkley is able to maneuver efficiently to open cutback lanes and explode through them with ease and precision. His burst and agility are the best in the game since Adrian Peterson. He is also able to catch the football out of the backfield which most backs have trouble with. He has very good decision-making skills on how much distance is between him and the defender.
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He cherishes when a challenge is brought upon him in making the big plays. He is also an excellent special teams player as Barkley has great awareness and excellent techniques in how to adjust when he returns the football.
Barkley leads by example and holds everyone accountable for their actions. He has incredible speed in wheel and lateral routes and is able to beat defenders quickly once the football is in his hands.
If he wants to be successful in the NFL he will need to fix his pass blocking. Instead of rushing into the plays he needs to learn how to be patient and let the plays develop naturally. He is also needing to use his skills more in the middle rather than bouncing to the outside. Barkley needs to continue to bulk up and become stronger as he is very weak in regards to his upper body.
He needs to learn how to lay down the hammer and us his shoulders more and less of his feet. He needs to embrace his abilities and use them at the right time. Sometimes has a slow mindset when not in control of certain assignments given to him.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
For being a special player, Barkley has the ability to handle anything that is thrown at him. With all the attributes Barkley has, will be a breakout player when inserted into a starting lineup since he is that talented. He’s easily a top 10 pick in this year’s draft.