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Experts react to Giants drafting Saquon Barkley


Media experts react to the Giants selecting Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

"Powerful. His lower body is unbelievable. At 233 pounds, he runs a 4.4 40. Talk about a powerful man. The only thing you can possibly say on the negative side is he tries to make too many big runs. The New York Giants just got better because of this guy." -- Mike Mayock, NFL Network

"He has it all physically and athletically, a 233-pound back, tremendously strong. Big hands for ball security is very important. He's a kid who has tremendous lower-body strength. He runs a 4.4 40, so he can break the home run."
– Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

"The Giants selected the Penn State running back with the No. 2 overall pick Thursday, passing up the opportunity to draft USC quarterback Sam Darnold or possibly trade down to a team like the Broncos, who were reportedly interested in a move up, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Barkley is the rare running back prospect who could be worth passing on all those riches. Like LaDainian Tomlinson with an extra 20 pounds of muscle, Barkley is the perfect fit for this era in the NFL. He can stay on the field all three downs, excelling as an inside runner, pass protector and receiver out of the backfield or in the slot. Barkley was drafted this high, however, for his incredible vision and ability to make big plays on the outside. He excels in space and is a matchup problem no matter where he lines up on the field. After years of running backs not being valued in the draft, NFL teams are realizing that unicorns like Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott and now possibly Barkley have incredible value to change a team's offense on every down." -- Gregg Rosenthal,

"Forget finding Eli Manning's replacement at quarterback—whoever that is might not play for another three years. New GM Dave Gettleman was brought in to build on a ready-now team, and a once-in-a-generation running back can help that. The Giants now have the dynamic ballcarrier to re-define what has lately been an atrocious ground game. New head coach Pat Shurmur did a great job in Minnesota marrying his running game and passing game. Barkley can help in both areas, and an erudite QB like Manning can check him in and out of the best plays accordingly." -- Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated

"Widely regarded as the top player in this draft, he aced the scouting combine (4.4 40, 29 reps on bench, 41-inch vert) and posted 3,801 yards from scrimmage and 82 catches in his last two years for the Nittany Lions. Barkley is a bigger, faster version of Adrian Peterson coming out of college and instantly legitimizes a poor Giants ground game. He forms a dangerous trio with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham and should help instantly return the franchise to contending status for the short run and long term. An every-down player with great speed, instincts and intangibles, there's no reason to expect Barkely won't make the same kind of rookie splash that Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette have had in recent years." -- Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports

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