Saquon Barkley just keeps taking hits from the national NFL media as the 2022 regular season approaches.
ESPN recently put together a list of the top running backs in the NFL as voted on by players, coaches and scouts. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley didn’t make the top 10, but he did earn an honorable mention.
One NFL offensive coach gave Barkley an ugly review, claiming he has no idea how to be an actual running back.
“Barkley was No. 1 on this list two years ago, but his decline has been precipitous. Injuries have cost him 22 games over four seasons, but that’s hardly the only issue with his game. In 2021, he produced just 593 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 162 carries.
“I’m down on him — he still doesn’t know how to play running back enough,” a veteran NFL offensive coach said. “He’s a bouncer. He wants every run to be a home run. He’s going to have to learn that 4-yard runs in this league are good, instead of stopping, cutting it back and losing 2. And he gets his ass kicked in protection.”
Barkley had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to begin his NFL career, including a Pro Bowl appearance as a rookie and the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018. Things have gone downhill since then.
He lost his 2020 season due to a torn ACL and disappointed last year with only 593 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Barkley needs a bounce-back season to prove he is worth a large contract on the free agent market.