With the No. 36 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Jets secured their future starting running back, who could easily win the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award this season.
Running backs haven't been valued as high over the past few years because they're somewhat replaceable. However, players such as Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, and even Saquon Barkley in their prime are irreplaceable.
Speaking of Barkley, although the 25-year-old has endured injury issues over the past few years and has had many question the New York Giants' decision to select him No. 2 overall, his rookie year was one of the best in NFL history.
Barkley had huge expectations based on where he was drafted, but he lived up to them. In 16 games, Barkley finished with 15 total touchdowns and 2,028 yards from scrimmage en route to winning Rookie of the Year.
Outperforming a quarterback for that award is very hard to do, but Barkley achieved that and gave Giants fans hope that he was on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
Why NY Jets RB Breece Hall could be Saquon Barkley 2.0
Hall and Barkley are much more similar players than you'd think. Although they were drafted 34 spots apart, they share a very similar skill set. Barkley ran a 4.40 40-yeard dash while Hall clocked in at 4.39.
Not only that, but both of them are only two of six players since 2003 who earned a max-99 overall score at the NFL Combine. They're in great company as the four other players to do so were Najee Harris (2021), Travis Etienne (2021), Derrick Henry (2016), and Reggie Bush (2006).
Prior to being selected second overall, it felt like the entire football world knew Barkley as he was a human highlight reel at Penn State. Obviously, many fans knew Hall, but it didn't feel like he had the same amount of hype, despite putting up similar numbers.
It probably had something to do with the fact that he played at Iowa State, but comparatively, Hall and Barkley were similar players in college.
Breece Hall: 718 attempts, 3,941 yards rushing, 50 touchdowns, 82 catches, 734 yards receiving, and 6 touchdowns (4,675 total yards, 56 total touchdowns)
Saquon Barkley: 671 attempts, 3,843 yards rushing, 43 touchdowns, 102 catches, 1195 yards receiving, and 8 touchdowns (5038 total yards, 51 total touchdowns)
As you can see, Hall had more touchdowns, but Barkley was more involved in the passing game. Overall, in three years of college, both players were very impressive and had tremendous careers.
Hall (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) is taller than Barkley (5-foot-11, 230 pounds), but both possess good size that make them work-horse running backs. Even with Michael Carter on the Jets, Hall should blow past him as the number one back before long.
Despite the injury to Mekhi Becton, the Jets' offensive line should be improved this season and they should be able to lead the way for Hall. On top of that, Hall's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and evade tackles should make him incredibly fun to watch this year.
15 total touchdowns and 2,000-plus yards from scrimmage is a tough season to replicate, but don't be shocked if Breece Hall gets very close to that this season. He's a very special player.