ESPN polls execs, coaches, and players for top 10 rankings
With the NFL gearing up for a new season, ESPN polled 50 league executives, coaches, scouts, and players to determine the top 10 at each position for 2021. On Tuesday, ESPN staff writer Jeremy Fowler revealed the running back rankings, and Saquon Barkley landed at No. 6, one spot ahead of the Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott.
Barkley, whose 2020 campaign was limited to just two games due to a season-ending knee injury, was still ranked as high as No. 1 by a segment of the voters. It came as no surprise after Barkley topped the same poll a year ago after he became the first player in Giants history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.
"Can score from anywhere on the field, and you feel that," one NFC exec told ESPN. "That's rare. Can generate more big plays than anyone."
"You have at least four guys worrying about him every snap," a veteran NFL linebacker told ESPN.
The five ahead of Barkley in the 2021 rankings were, in order, Derrick Henry (Titans), Alvin Kamara (Saints), Dalvin Cook (Vikings), Nick Chubb (Browns), and Christian McCaffrey (Panthers).
"He is still an eye-test guy for many," Fowler wrote about Barkley. "Watch him play, how defenses assign four or five defenders to his every move, and you'll understand."
View photos of Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
Andrew Thomas, Nate Solder & Matt Peart join "Giants Huddle" podcast
In the latest episode, John Schmeelk is joined by Giants offensive tackles Andrew Thomas, Nate Solder, and Matt Peart to preview the 2021 season. Listen below.