3 way-too-early bold predictions for Giants RB Saquon Barkley in 2019
Last season, the New York Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. This turned some heads, because although he’s a once-in-a-generation talent – many believe they should’ve drafted a quarterback.
However, Barkley was quick to silence all doubters as he was the most impressive rookie in 2018 – leading to a Pro Bowl selection and Rookie of the Year honors.
On the year, Saquon Barkley ran for 1,307 yards (5.0 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He racked up an amazing 91 receptions for 721 yards and four more touchdowns.
The 22-year-old could be in store for an even bigger 2019.
Here are three way-to-early bold predictions for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
3. Leads NFL in rushing yards
Last season Saquon Barkley ran for 1,307 yards. That was second best in the NFL behind only Ezekiel Elliot (1,434 yards). However, Elliot needed 304 carries to do so (4.6 yards per carry), while Barkley needed just 261 carries (5.0 yards per carry).
Barkley also did so on a team with a very weak passing offense and a miserable offensive line. As of right now, the passing offense has gotten worse but the offensive line has improved.
That spells a recipe for running the football. Yes, teams will likely stack the box. Barkley is good enough that this won’t ruin his numbers too much. Especially when considering the Giants will try to get him the ball even more now.
With Odell Beckham Jr. gone, Barkley is the undisputed star of this offense. Everything will go through him. That means more carries. More carries mean more yards.
The mixture of ridiculous talent and the team probably force-feeding him the ball will lead to massive numbers for Saquon Barkley.
Not only will he lead the NFL in rushing yards, he might just blow everyone else out of the water.
2. Over 1,500 rushing yards and 100 receptions
The only thing that might slow down Saquon Barkley when it comes to rushing stats is Saquon Barkley.
Barkley is so good in the passing game that he caught 91 passes last season. The only running back with more was Christian McCaffrey with 107.
Last season, McCaffrey ran for 1,098 yards to go along with those 107 receptions. Barkley is going to top that, running for 1,500 yards to match his 100-plus receptions.
Again, the New York Giants offense runs through him. Without Beckham Jr. anymore, Barkley will be expected to take on a heavier load.
Adding just nine receptions and 193 extra yards from his stats last season seems incredibly doable.
1. Leads NFL in total touchdowns
In 2018 Saquon Barkley finished with 15 total touchdowns. That was tied for third in the NFL with Antonio Brown. The only two players ahead of him were Alvin Kamara (18) and Todd Gurley (21).
Kamara is on the New Orleans Saints. A team with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and an elite passing attack. Todd Gurley is on the Los Angeles Rams – another team with an absolutely deadly passing attack and tons of weapons.
Therefore, both of those players will be competing heavily for their touchdowns. Barkley won’t be in that same boat. Sure he’s not going to get all the touchdowns the Giants score, but his number will be called upon more times than not when looking for the end zone.
With all the extra attention Barkley will get in the offense in year two, he should see that touchdown number rise.
Over 20 touchdowns is a definite possibility.
Especially with how much he’s used in the passing game. That, combined with his disgusting mix of speed, elusiveness and power while running – spells out a lot of touchdowns.
Barkley will get quite a few breakaway touchdowns, but is the clear power back to use on the goal line as well.
No one will be vulturing touchdowns from him anytime soon.