In his first play as a professional, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley broke out for a 39-yard run — showing fans what’s to come.
Saquon Barkley got the New York Giants off to a great start in his first professional carry. Taking the handoff from Eli Manning, Barkley had to do some dancing to get around Browns defenders looking to bring down the draft’s best back behind the line. He got past them, scurrying down the field for a 39-yard gain.
Barkley showed almost everything on that play that made him such a high draft pick. From the quick sidesteps to his vision behind the line to quick open-field running, Barkley is already living up to the hype.
Barkley is already digging into his bag of tricks, something he may have to do often in New York. The line is improved and Odell Beckham Jr.’s return should open up the passing game. But Barkley will likely get the ball a lot, having to break down defenders as a runner and a receiver.
Making too much of preseason performances can be a dangerous game to play for fans, as it could set them up for disappointment. But it’s hard to not get excited about even the smallest of Barkley highlights. He has the physical and mental tools to be a truly special back, and seeing that on the field enforces that even more.
The NFL is seeing more and more success from rookie running backs, with Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt leading the league in rushing as rookies the past two seasons. Alvin Kamara also had a pretty impressive season as a rookie last year, recording over 1,500 yards on the ground and in the air.
It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Barkley led the league in rushing this season and had over 500 receiving yards as well. It’s just one play in the preseason, but perhaps the way Barkley started off his career is a symbol for what’s to come.