Giants RB Saquon Barkley "tweaked" his left hamstring in Monday's practice, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini. The rookie spent the rest of practice with the left leg wrapped. "Source says he is fine. Giants do not seem too worried," Russini added. This sounds minor, but anytime we hear "hamstring" associated with a 1st-round fantasy RB, we're paying attention. We'll keep a close eye on Barkley.
Update: Barkley has a "mild strain" of his hamstring, HC Pat Shurmur said after practice. "We’ll be smart with him as we move along here," Shurmur said. Don't expect to see the rookie in New York's 2nd preseason game. We'll see if he can make it back for the 3rd.
ESPN's Jordan Raanan notes that Giants RB Saquon Barkley has been splitting out wide in training camp. "Barkley a stud in pass game," Raanan adds. None of this should come as a surprise. Barkley is 1 of the best pass-catching RBs to enter the league in a long time, averaging 11.7 yards per catch on 102 receptions across 3 seasons at Penn State. Still, it's nice to hear that the Giants are planning to take full advantage of that skill set. Getting snaps out wide is part of what's made guys like Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson such fantasy monsters. Barkley has a similar ceiling.
NJ.com's Matt Lombardo believes Wayne Gallman -- not Jonathan Stewart -- has the "inside track" to win the Giants' #2 RB job. Lombardo notes Gallman's burst, elusiveness and pass-catching ability as edges over Stewart, who looked like "a plodding veteran running back trying to hang on" this spring. It's a situation we'll monitor when training camp opens, but neither guy is worth a pick outside of deep best-ball drafts. The bigger takeaway here is that rookie Saquon Barkley is already entrenched as the Giants' feature back.
Giants HC Pat Shurmur highlighted RB Saquon Barkley's work in pass protection at rookie camp. “The other thing that you see when you work with him is his awareness, his spatial awareness, his ability to pick out who he has in pass protection,” Shurmur said. “We purposely tried to have some blitz drills early to try to challenge the running backs, and I felt like he did a good job with that. When you talk about the difference between college ball and pro ball, you throw the ball quite a bit and you really depend on blitzers getting picked up.” Barkley was mediocre in pass protection at Penn State, allowing 8 hurries in 83 opportunities last year, according to Pro Football Focus. He'd need to be abysmal to get taken off the field in passing situations in New York, though. We're fully expecting Barkley to serve as a 3-down workhorse for the Giants this season.
The Giants selected Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the 2nd pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley checks all the boxes. He was a dual-threat over the past 3 seasons, totaling 3,843 rushing yards and 43 TDs on 5.7 yards per carry, plus another 1,195 yards and 8 scores on 102 receptions. The tape shows a home run hitter with plus, plus pass-catching ability. Barkley looks like some sort of cyborg mix between Barry Sanders and David Johnson. He went to the Combine and measured 6’0, 233 pounds and recorded a 98th percentile SPARQ score. The cherry on top is that he just turned 21 in February. Barkley is the 5th RB to be selected inside the top 10 picks over the past 4 years. The 4 previous — Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey — all finished their rookie seasons as top 10 PPR RBs. Even behind a shaky offensive line in New York, Barkley will have a good shot to make it 5-for-5. He’ll have volume on his side in a backfield that includes only Jonathan Stewart, Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins.