Saquon Barkley   RB   Penn St


Saquon is a big, strong legged “between the tackles” size running back with smaller running back skills. He has a powerful lower body that should make it easy for him to run between the tackles and get into the second level and break tackles. He shows excellent leadership skills through his play on the field, but what makes Saquon unique is the fact that he looks like a big powerful running back that can break tackles but because of his speed and quickness is more of a finesse back who works well in open space. His talents include good eye hand coordination to catch the ball down the field with the potential to work out of the slot as a receiver on third and long downs. Like I said before, he is a big back with size, speed, good hands and running skills in the open field of a smaller third down back. He has a high football IQ and that makes him an every down running back and those don’t come along very often. Saquon reminds me a lot of another Penn St running back who played for the Steelers for 12 years, Franco Harris.

Biggest issue for Saquon is that he needs to learn to run better routes; right now in the offensive system he plays in, the OC uses a lot of rub routes by wide receivers and Tight Ends to free him up. If he wants to play the slot on third down he has to improve his route running or those NFL cover safeties will make it difficult for him to separate and lesson his impact. Also Saquan looks to be a power running back but plays more like a third down running back on every down avoiding unnecessary hits instead of looking for impact. This will turn some of the macho coached teams off from selecting Saquon early.

Years ago the Steelers had a big back by the name of Franco Harris. Most people complained that because of his size, Franco should have been a stronger inside runner. He played running back for 12 years because of his theory of not taking unnecessary contact. Saquon runs very much like Franco, eliminating unnecessary contact and it makes him look like he is soft but the truth is, he is smart. If you look back at films of him Saquon’s leg strength and quickness to get up to his top speed makes him a dangerous player at any level and at any point on the field. He’s a smart kid and the type of player you can build you offensive running game. He will open up the passing game if you don’t keep seven to eight men in the box. If you don’t spy on him on third downs, he will make you pay taking the check down pass for big time yardage. If your defensive linemen don’t attack the line of scrimmage and tackle Saquon in the backfield before he hits the line of scrimmage, all I can say is he will once again he will make you pay. He’s like an ATM machine making you pay for every transaction but in Saquon’s case it will be making you pay on every down if you don’t account for him. Some say you can find a good running back at any point in a draft. But Saquon is a potential pro bowl EVERY DOWN running back so thinking you can pass on him and COUNT on finding an EVERY DOWN running back with the same talent later in the draft is why those teams keep drafting early in every round every year. I always say, when you see the obvious, draft the obvious. I’m thinking…it’s pretty obvious the talent and potential that Saquon possesses. But that’s just me… Talking To Myself™. Franco Harris played for 12 years because he believed in not taking unnecessary hits. He went to 4 super bowls and 9 pro bowls and every year media and coaches would criticize him for being “soft”. In fact I bet you can still find people that will say he was good but he played soft and could have been better. Then again he played for 12 years…Think about that.

Drew Boylhart   DEC.2017