The New York Giants‘ roster is currently assembled with a plethora of mostly-unproven talent who Big Blue hopes can one day tap into their sky-high potential. Players such as Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton and Xavier McKinney are quick to come to mind.
However, running back Saquon Barkley is far past unproven. Despite an injury-riddled 2019 campaign, the soon-to-be third-year star has cemented himself as one of the league’s top playmakers.
That is, if you’re not going by Pro Football Focus’ standards…
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Barkley Left Off of PFF’s Top-50
As you could expect, PFF’s list of “50 best players entering the 2020 season” had their fair share of household names. Two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes led the way, coming in ranked at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.
However, PFF showed the diminutive value they place on the running back position, placing only two in their top-50 players. Christian McCaffrey (No. 10) and Nick Chubb (No. 27) were the only two RBs to earn a place on their rankings.
It appears PFF took the approach of out-of-sight, out-of-mind when it came to Barkley. This is somewhat understandable, considering the fact that he played just 13 games in 2019 due to a high-ankle sprain. Yet, despite limited game action, he still managed to produce the 11th-most total yards in football a season ago (1,441 total yards).
The idea of a fully-healthy Barkley not ranking in the top half, let alone excluding him completely from the ranks of the top players entering 2020 is a complete and utter head-scratcher.
Other Notable Exclusions
While Giants fans may feel a certain type of way seeing their top playmaker being left off of a list of the league’s elites, they should likely take it with a grain of salt.
For starters, the NFL’s leading rusher from 2019, Derrick Henry, is nowhere to be found on the list. Ezekiel Elliott, arguably a top-three player at his position, was omitted as well.
Unsurprisingly, no Barkley means no Giants altogether on PFF’s list of top-50 players. However, the running back, along with a few fellow Big Blue playmakers, may make PFF eat their words next season if all goes according to plan for New York.
Expectations are sky-high for Barkley in 2020, who is primed to operate behind the best offensive line he’s had over his NFL career. Barkley’s former college coach, Penn State’s James Franklin, is one of those people expecting huge production from the 2018 pro bowler.
I think Saquon is going to have a huge year for you guys this year. I was really happy watching the draft, I saw you guys picked up an offensive lineman and some guys, so that’s going to help your quarterback, that’s going to help Saquon and it’s going to help the whole team and the whole organization.
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