Saquon Barkley is the top running back prospect in the 2018 draft class, and at the combine he’s making his case to be the first overall pick.
After two straight great seasons at Penn State, it was a no-brainer for Saquon Barkley to declare early for the NFL draft. He’s the No. 1 running back prospect in this year’s class, and a likely top-five overall pick.
Shy of showing up in Indianapolis with an unknown injury, a troubling medical issue being discovered or suffering an injury during the event, there’s nothing Barkley could do to hurt his draft stock at the combine. But if anything, he may have helped himself during on-field work.
Barkley measured an even 6-foot tall and weighed in at 233 pounds earlier in the week. Then he put up 29 bench press reps to tie for the lead with Georgia’s Nick Chubb among running backs, and top some offensive lineman. Barkley then registered 41 inches in the vertical jump on Friday.
If that’s not enough, Barkley then ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds.
First, here’s the jump.
And here’s Barkley’s first 40 run.
On his second attempt at the 40, Barkley posted an unofficial 4.42.
Here’s Barkley running the 40 compared to other NFL stars of today…
Barkley’s size, timed speed without pads, explosive vertical jump and bench press strength are enough to make NFL scouts drool. But he backed that up with big-time production on the field as a runner and receiver over his last two seasons at Penn State, with added difference-making ability as a kickoff returner last season.
As he would have had a hard time really hurting his draft stock at the combine, there also wasn’t much room for Barkley to boost his stock. But he may have done so, and if the Cleveland Browns aren’t sold on taking a quarterback first overall Barkley may be on the radar now.