Saquon Barkley, described by some as a “generational running back,” is The Associated Press 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The second overall draft pick who rushed for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns behind a weak New York Giants offensive line drew 26.5 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league.
Barkley edged top overall draft pick Baker Mayfield, who earned 21.5 votes. In addition to the award, Barkley also will soon be sporting a chain — courtesy of Mayfield — as a result of a wager with the Cleveland Browns‘ rookie quarterback on the outcome.
“The loser’s got to get someone else a chain,” Barkley told Cleveland.com earlier this week. “We get to pick the chain and we get to have fun with it because obviously everyone’s talking about who’s going to win.”
Barkley also made a team-high 91 receptions — an NFL record for a rookie running back — for 721 yards, and his 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the league.
“This kid is a special player, a special talent,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “He’s such a big, powerful guy that has breakaway speed. Sometimes, it’s impossible, but you kind of have to get two or three bodies on him. He’s a tremendous running back, and a load to bring down.”
Barkley is the second Giants player in five seasons to win the award; wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took it in 2014. They are the only Giants to win it.
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.