It seems hard to believe, but it's been six years since the New York Giants drafted Saquon Barkley, now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, with the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Since then, Barkley's career has been a bit of a mixed bag. There are no shortage of highlights and flashes of brilliance that make it understandable why the Giants would make Barkley, a can't-miss prospect out of Penn State, the highest-drafted running back of the century. But injuries and overall offensive ineptitude in New York have prevented Saquon from developing into the once-in-a-generation sort of player many pegged him to be.

Now, after departing the Big Apple to join the Giants' NFC East rival in the City of Brotherly Love, Saquon Barkley has a chance to revitalize his career within an offense that has finished in the top eight in rushing yards each of Nick Sirianni's three years as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. And Barkley himself acknowledged on Thursday that his arrival in Philadelphia has him feeling, “like a rookie again.”

“We're all just coming in, buying in, trying to learn the playbook, learning the system, trying to get better each day,” Barkley said, per Kevin Patra of

Saquon Barkley is just one season removed from rushing for a career-best 1,312 yards during the 2022 season, a total that was five yards better than his incredibly impressive rookie season. He also added ten touchdowns on the ground and earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2022, the second of his pro career. Unlike in New York, however, the offensive burden won't solely be on Saquon Barkley's shoulders in Philadelphia. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has made sure of that each of the last few years.

“Biggest thing that struck me is my first 7-on-7 huddle you see A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and Jalen Hurts. It's not a bad group to be out there with. That's not even including the offensive linemen. You know, there is a lot of talent, a lot of talent before I got here. I feel I can only add to that.”

Eagles running back Saquon Barkley silencing the haters

What Saquon Barkley brings to the table

When considering how exactly Saquon Barkley will fit in with the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles offense, the first thing you need to do is assume that the 27-year-old will remain reasonably healthy throughout the 2024 season. Of course, in reality, this is not a foregone conclusion. Barkley not only suffered an ACL tear early on in the 2020 season, but he's also had a habit of missing portions of games due to more minor, aggravating injuries. But given the wear and tear of the running back position, this could be applicable to anybody the Eagles placed in the backfield alongside Jalen Hurts.

A healthy Saquon Barkley gives the Eagles a boost in the running game that they just haven't had over the past few years, and keep in mind, both Miles Sanders and D'Andre Swift have rushed for over 1,000 yards behind one of the league's best offensive lines each of the last two seasons. All due respect to both Sanders and Swift, solid players who performed very well in their role, but neither player has a ceiling as high as Saquon Barkley has as both a pure runner or a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Remember, in addition to over 1,300 yards rushing as a rookie, Barkley also hauled in 91 receptions for 721 yards during his first NFL season.

Assuming that Barkley can maintain good health, there's plenty of reason for both Eagles fans, and all of the players in the locker to be excited about what this season could look like.

“I'm excited to be here with this team,” Barkley said. “I feel like we can do something special. That's a ways, ways away, so just continue to come in one day at a time and try to get better.”