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Is Saquon Barkley Really a Generational RB Talent?

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The 2018 draft class is fascinating for a number of reasons. As many as five quarterbacks could go in the first round, and there's a surplus of talent at other positions. nfl jersey china With question marks attached to all those quarterbacks, there's a race for the title of "best player in the draft" outside the game's most important position.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is one of those players thought by many to be the best pure football talent in this class. In three years as a starter for the Nittany Lions, he gained 3,843 rushing yards and scored 43 touchdowns on 671 carries. He also caught 102 passes for 1,195 yards and eight touchdowns, and added 18 kickoff returns for 500 yards and two touchdowns.

Barkley's positional versatility is singularly impressive among the running backs in this class, and it would be the same in most draft classes. He can run inside and outside with tremendous speed, lateral agility and acceleration. As a receiver, he can line up anywhere from offset in a Pistol formation to the slot to outside—he has the potential to be the NFL's best receiving back since Le'Veon Bell rounded out his skill set. As a direct-snap running quarterback who finds himself behind the center from pre-snap movement, Barkley can also create explosive plays. It's easy to see why some would tout him as a truly great back, and in many aspects of his play, he is just that.

Bert Whigham, who has been training Barkley this year at Tom Shaw Performance in Florida, set the bar fairly high regarding his client's professional prospects, comparing him to another player Whigham has trained.

"The only person I can think of that's comparable physically is [Oakland Raiders linebacker] Khalil Mack," Whigham told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. "Khalil and Saquon are my 1a. and 1b. These two guys are outliers. They're freaks. It's those two and then probably [Tennessee Titans running back] Derrick Henry, another freak. But with Khalil, we knew he was the No. 1 overall pick. We knew he was going to be special. And it's the same with Saquon. You've got a generational talent."

And that's where things get interesting. There's no question Barkley looks like an ideal running back for the modern NFL. Now, teams want players who can not only stay on the field for all three downs, china nfl jerseys but as every down is potentially a passing down and versatility is the order of the day, players like Barkley (and there aren't too many of them) can fit in multiple offenses to the point where he could be called scheme-transcendent.

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