Saquon Barkley has lived up to the Giants’ high expectations since they drafted him No. 2 overall this year.
But what does the running back believe he has improved the most during his stellar rookie season?
“I would say leadership, definitely leadership,” Barkley told reporters at the Giants’ practice facility on Wednesday. “Obviously I was never shy to talk or be vocal, but just you know yourself when you’re speaking just how more comfortable you feel and I felt more comfortable speaking and leading from this point before in the beginning of the year or preseason or camp.
“That’s what I would say I’m not happy with, but I’m proud of the most, but also just understanding the game as a whole, seeing the game differently, how the game’s slowing down a lot more in the run game and for me in the pass game and hopefully I could continue to get better these last two weeks.”
The Penn State product has certainly led the Giants on the field this season. The 21-year-old has already set franchise rookie records in touchdowns (13), receptions (82) and receiving yards by a running back (654). Barkley’s 1,155 rushing yards and nine TDs also rank third and fifth in the NFL, respectively.
The offensive output has earned Barkley a Pro Bowl nod, along with S Landon Collins and K Aldrick Rosas. Barkley will be the first Giants running back to go to the Pro Bowl since Tiki Barber in 2006. He is also the first Giants rookie to earn the honor since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014, and the first Big Blue rookie RB since Tucker Frederickson in 1965.