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Giants Saquon Barkley Quick Review

Giants fans have been vocal about Saquon Barkley the minute former GM Dave Gettleman made him the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. With a new general manager in Joe Schoen, a new head coach in Brian Daboll, and new offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, Barkley is a great spot to re-invent himself as a superstar. The NY Giants finally addressed their offensive line woes for the upcoming season. They used the number seven pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to take Evan Neal, the monstrous left guard from Alabama. Coupling him with 2020 NFL Draft fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas, the Giants could have two superstars for the next decade.

The NY Giants need to incorporate Barkley in the passing game.

In Barkley’s rookie year, he caught 91 receptions for 721 yards, on his way to a Pro Bowl, complimenting his 1,307 yards rushing on 261 carries. He is a menace when the ball is in his hands. His combination of raw strength and speed makes him a match-up nightmare. Early reports from OTA’s are he has been lined up all over the place, including wide receiver and in the slot. Kafka is used to working with weapons all the field in his days with the Kansas City Chiefs, so I’m sure he will put Barkley in the right spot.

Barkley needs to stay healthy.

The knock-on Barkley is that he has been injury-prone, and that, unfortunately, has been the case. In his rookie year of 2018, he injured a hamstring but ultimately made it for week one. Unfortunately, the luck ran out after that, as in 2019, Barkley nursed a sprained ankle; 2020 was the significant ACL tear in week two that forced him out for the rest of the year.

Last year it was an ankle injury that bothered him most of the year, limiting him to only 593 yards rushing, nowhere near the numbers he put up in his rookie year. Health is paramount for any NFL player but truly important for one that is considered by the team a franchise player, all while trying to break the stigma of being “injury-prone.” The Giants have not neglected Barkley’s back-ups as they signed Matt Brieda, and he should be able to spell Saquan when he needs it. That certainly should help lessen the injury rate for Barkley.

The NY Giants offense has to gel

As everyone knows, the NY Giants offense has been abysmal the last few years. Number six overall pick quarterback Daniel Jones has gotten as much flack as Barkley for being such a high pick from the Gettleman days while underperforming. Barkley needs the passing game to help his running game. Not only does he need to be involved, which we talked about, but he needs the chains to move through the air.

Mike Kafka built his entire NFL coaching career on Patrick Mahomes, and Brian Daboll has built him on Josh Allen. For the Giants to run the ball, not only does the offensive line need to be good, but the Jones needs to come of age. For Jones to come of age, he’ll need overpriced free agent pick-up Kenny Golladay and second-year wide receiver Kadarius Toney to be on the field and be productive.

Things are never perfect in the NFL, and the Giants need a lot of help to succeed this year. To have any chance to do that, Saquan Barkley must be a significant part of the offense. Barkley and the Giants are in a make-or-break position. The Giants picked up his fifth-year option, worth $7.2 million, so the Giants are the hook for all of it. Barkley will surely garner interest as an unrestricted free agent, and I believe the Giants would like to scoop him up for the long term. You can understand the hesitancy, but hopefully, the stars align in 2022, Barkley returns to his superhuman form, and we can put all the trash talk to rest.



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