The second overall pick in this yearís NFL draft, Barkley is an athletic marvel who clocked a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. That sort of speed is remarkable for a player who weighed in at 233 pounds. Barkley also recorded a vertical jump of 41 inches and bench-pressed 225 pounds 29 times. Barkley ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons at Penn State and had 53 touchdowns (including a couple of kick returns) in 38 games for the Nittany Lions. He comes to the NFL with advanced pass-catching skills. Barkley had 54 receptions for 632 yards and three touchdowns in his final college season. Heís sure to be the Giantsí lead back from the get-go and will probably get close to 300 touches if he stays healthy all season.
Itís hard to find fault with what Barkley accomplished at Penn State, but naysayers might point to the fact that he had fewer than 80 rushing yards in seven of his 13 games last year. The Giantsí offensive line was awful last season and could be a below-average unit once again in 2018.
Some fantasy owners canít bring themselves to sink major draft capital into a rookie. But with Barkleyís extraordinary athletic profile and NFL-ready pass-catching ability, heís poised to make a major splash right away. Others might preach caution with first-year players, but we recommend drafting Barkley aggressively. We believe heís worth a first-round pick.