Saquon Barkley had a showing at the NFL Scouting Combine that was nearly unprecedented for a running back and confirmed his status as Superman in cleats.
With all due respect to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is the new Superman.
Barkley tore up college football and the Big Ten for the last three years and that carried over to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine where he worked out on Thursday and Friday. It was a workout that was legendary for a running back of his size and confirmed what college football fans have known for the better part of two years.
He is a superhero masquerading as a football player. He doesn’t have a cape or a mask but he has a rare set of skills that make him one of the best prospects at running back the NFL has seen since Adrian Peterson entered the league more than a decade ago.
- 29 reps of 225-pounds on Thursday. That was one more rep than Browns left tackle and future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas.
- A 1.54 10-yard split, that’s .01 seconds quicker than the notorious fleet-footed wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who is also about 60 pounds lighter.
- His 4.40 time in the 40 was .03 faster than Devin Hester.
- Barkley’s 41-inch vertical jump had people’s eye popping out they couldn’t believe a 233-pound back could exhibit that kind of get-up. His 41-inch jump was 2.5 inches greater than Jones.
Barkley’s only the second player since 2003 to post a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds or faster and have a vertical jump north of 40 inches.
Former Maryland tight end and the No. 6 pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 2006 draft. Davis had an all-time performance when he ran a 4.38 time in the 40 and vertical jumped 42 inches at 254 pounds.
It’s no coincidence that the two were both trained by the same person. Penn State strength and conditioning coach Steve Galt previously held the job at Maryland during Davis’ time with the Terps.
And just for good measure, Barkley is the only one in the history of Penn State to power clean 405 pounds. No big deal or nothing for a running back.
Some team picking high in the NFL Draft is going to get a player that should have an extra special type of career, provided he stays healthy, and his on-field ability coupled with his rare physical gifts make him the total package and a legit candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick.