The roster for the New York Giants’ rookie minicamp lists “RB” next to Saquon Barkley’s name. Maybe it should say more.
Barkley views himself as “more than a running back.” The No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft was hoping to prove that Friday, when he took the field for the first time in a Giants uniform.
“Completely more than a running back,” Barkley said after Friday morning’s walk-through. “… If you look at the past three years and you look at the history of the running back position — of what [Ezekiel Elliott] and [Le’Veon Bell] are able to do — nfl authentic jerseys cheap when you look at those guys, they are more than running backs. I view myself as more than a running back.”
This is the argument Bell, a three-time Pro Bowl running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has made as he lobbies for a long-term contract. Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and had 85 receptions last season.
Barkley rushed for 1,271 yards last year at Penn State. He caught 54 passes for 632 yards and added two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
It’s this skill set that prompted the Giants to declare Barkley the best player in the draft. General manager Dave Gettleman gave Barkley only his second perfect grade for a prospect; the other went to Peyton Manning in 1998.
“I’m not a guy that you just line up in the backfield and is just going bang his head, bang his head, bang his head,” Barkley said. “I’m a guy that is willing to do whatever it is for the team, whether it is a kick returner, whether it be a punt returner, whether it be running down on kickoffs, whether it’s line up in the slot, whether it’s run a dummy play, fake play.
“Whatever it takes. I want to be an athlete. I’m not just a running back. I play the running back position. I want to be an all-around back and all-around player.”
Gettleman said after making the pick two weeks ago that Barkley’s presence alone should improve the running game, offensive line, passing game and even the defense by keeping that unit off the field.customized nfl jerseys cheap
Rookie minicamp, which runs through Sunday, will provide the Giants their first up-close glimpse of Barkley’s ability.
“I think what we’re looking to see is how well he picks up this system,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “We’re very confident he’ll be able to do everything well. And just see how he works in like everybody else — how he runs the ball, how he catches the ball, his awareness in pass protection — all the things we’re going to ask him to do moving forward.”