2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley — RB, Penn State
If Leonard Fournette owed Ezekiel Elliott a thank you card for going with the No. 4 pick last year, then Saquon Barkley should send both of them a gift basket.
Drafting running backs at the top of the first round is cool again, and that is great timing for Barkley, who has the potential to be a special player at the pro level. Barkley runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, has a 41-inch vertical leap and did 29 reps on the bench press at the combine.
Elliott didn’t participate in the bench press but was worse in the 40 (4.47 seconds) and in the leap (32.5 inches). The physical gifts were turned into production in college, with Barkley rushing for 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns in his three years at Penn State, and developing into a solid pass-catching option out of the backfield as a junior. He does not break many tackles, and may take some time to learn pass-protection, but there is little doubt that he can be a star.
How he fits: Even with quarterback Eli Manning’s future in doubt, the Giants made the wise decision to take the best player in the draft. The three top quarterbacks available are all talented but also have some question marks about how good they will be. Almost no one doubts that Barkley will be an immediate superstar: