Saquon Barkley was one of the best players in the country in 2016 and, to be frank, Penn State’s star running back did not receive the level of hype that he deserved. Some of that, to be fair, was the presence of other top-flight players at the position, with LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey dominating headlines.
That is seemingly about to change, though, as Barkley is arguably the best returning running back in the country. To that end, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report is hearing big-time praise from the NFL world on Barkley’s prospect status, to the point where it might even be jarring how high some scouts could be.
“When asking NFL scouts and general managers for an early look at next year’s class, one high-level executive summed up what many are feeling about Penn State’s Saquon Barkley: He has the potential to be the best running back of the last decade. Even better than Leonard Fournette or Ezekiel Elliott.”
The soon-to-be junior running back accumulated 1,496 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns last season and his “breakout” performance (at least for many) came with a 194-yard showing against USC in the Rose Bowl. College football diehards have known about Barkley for quite some time but NFL scouts are following suit and the hype machine will continue to grow if he can replicate his 2016 production in 2017.