Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2018 and basically took over the mantle as the most versatile and explosive running back in the NFL.
Barkley came into the NFL completely grounded and with his head on straight. He knows stardom can be fleeting and does not want to get caught up with labels and accolades this early on in his career.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Barkley opened up about a slew of things — his family, some guilty pleasures and the name his father wanted to give him that his mother thankfully overruled on.
When Rooks brought up a quote from former teammate Jonathan Stewart stating that Barkley could be “the greatest running back of all time,” the second-year budding superstar balked for second before answering.
“Is he right?” asked Rooks.
“Yes, I believe so,” the humble Barkley replied. “I believe I can be the best running back to ever play the game.”
“Is that good?” Barkley sheepishly asked, smiling. He then proceeded to exchange high-fives with Rooks.
The facts are Barkley can challenge for the title of best running back of all time. He’s got a long way to go and a lot of carries, catches and yards to rack up before even being considered, though.
Barkley totaled 2,028 yards from scrimmage in 2018 (1,307 on the ground, 721 through the air).
Barkley was the third rookie in NFL history with 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson (1983) and Edgerrin James (1999) are the others.
Barkley had seven runs of 40 yards or more and six 50-plus yard runs, and led the NFL in each category. The six 50-yard runs is the highest single-season total by a Giants player since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. His six 50-yard runs are twice as many as any other NFL player had in 2018; Isaiah Crowell of the Jets was second with three.
Barkley’s 91 receptions are a record for an NFL rookie running back. The former record of 88 was set by New Orleans’ Reggie Bush in 2006.
This could be just the tip of the iceberg for Barkley but you can be sure he’ll be unfazed by most of it. It appears no moment is too big for him.