Earlier on this site, we showed you Colin Cowherd’s ridiculous comments about Saquon Barkley. Cowherd asserts that Barkley is being overvalued by analyst and attempts to back this up with facts. We are going to take a hard look at those facts and see if they are in fact based in reality or simply a mans attempt to stir up some controversy.
First, let’s take a look at the 5 thing Cowherd believes are reasons NOT to draft Saquon Barkley.
5 Reasons Not to Draft Saquon Barkley by Colin Cowherd
- Averaged less than three yards per game in 3 games in 2017. (Indiana, Ohio State, and Rutgers)
- Only 5 games over 100 yards.
- Most yards lost by a running back last season.
- Penn State was 58th in rushing in 2017. (6th in the Big Ten)
- His best 3 games came after a bye week or cupcake.
If you watched Penn State Football at all last season you are all probably thinking the same thing. The stats do not tell the whole story on Saquon Barkley and his impact on each game.
Penn State’s Offense was not one that was designed to just hand Barkley the ball and watch. It is much more sophisticated than that. The offense, designed by Joe Moorhead was meant to take what the defense gives you and evolves game by game and play by play. It’s been stated that Joe Moorhead’s offense is evolutionary, not revolutionary.
James Franklin elaborated on the balance of the offense and taking what the defense gives them after a 31-7 win over Northwestern.
“The thing that’s great is we have enough weapons,” Franklin said. “We’re going to have to throw the ball. We’re in a situation where it’s almost like you’ve got to pick your poison.
“I get it. People are going to try everything they possibly can to not allow Saquon Barkley to beat you, but it creates a lot of opportunities for other guys.”
Barkley the Decoy
Barkley, while featured in the offense, was often time used as a decoy that opened up whole sections of the field. His talent and home-run ability were that well respected from defensive coordinators week after week.
In the following play watch how four defensive players follow Saquon Barkley leaving the entire right side of the field open for a Trace McSorley Touchdown.
Here is an example of another team that sold out to stop Barkley only to get beat by Trace Mcsorley only this time with his arm. Again you can see four Northwestern players heading towards Barkley. This time it is Safety, Godwin Igwebuike, who is so focused on Barkley that he lets backup quarterback Tommy Stevens run right by him for the easy touchdown grab.
These are perfect examples of the kind of attention defenses gave him on a weekly basis and example number one of how stats do not tell the whole story.
Barkley the Home-Run Threat
One of the main reasons that teams tried to so hard to stop Saquon Barkley at the line of scrimmage by dedicating so many defensive players to him was because of his big-play ability. Barkley put his big-play ability on full display for the world to see at the 2017 Fiesta Bowl where he outran one of the top defenses in the county for a 92-yard touchdown.
Barkley the Reciever
The fact that Colin Cowherd went through his entire rant without mentioning Barkley’s ability as a receiver is just laughable. While Barkley may have had some average games at running back at times, last season, he could beat you in so many areas including with his ability to get open in the passing game. The offense was designed to take advantage of that. Load up to stop the run? Ok, Penn State will beat you through the air. Saquon Barkley fits perfectly into that equation.
But those catches are easy right? They don’t prove Saquon Barkley has good hands, do they? Maybe not, but this one does.
Barkley Special Teams Threat
Saquon Barkley is the type of talent that you build a team around. He has the ability to impact the game in so many ways including on Special Teams. This was a tactic Penn State used in 2017 to get the ball in Saquon Barkley’s hands. Saquon took advantage of the opportunity returning 15 kicks for 426 yards and with an average of 28.4 yards per return and 2 touchdowns. None bigger than this one against Ohio State.
Barkley’s Power and Stamina
I think one of the more demeaning statements that Cowherd makes is when he questions Barkley’s power and stamina by stating the following:
“This is not a guy capable of 26 carries one week in the NFL, 29 the next. Picking up blitzes. Seven catches one week, four the next. He is not a bulldozer.” – Colin Cowherd
This is one of the most outlandish statements you could make about a guy who not only played in every game but made an impact in them. This, again, is an example of Cowherd not watching the games but simply relying on the stat line.
I guess somebody forgot to tell Barkley that he lacked power and stamina against Iowa.
Barkley the Teammate
Saquon Barkley is just a good a teammate as he is an individual football player. This was never more evident than on September 23, 2017, at Kinnick Stadium against Iowa. Barkley had carried Penn State for most of the day and had compiled an impressive stat line of 28 carries for a career-high 211 yards and a touchdown. He also had a team-high 12 catches for 94 yards. Add in his 53 yards on kick returns and you had a new Penn State record 358 all-purpose yards.
It would be easy to point to all of those numbers and say that Barkley was the reason Penn State walked away with a victory that night but it was a play not found in the stats that ultimately sealed the victory for the Nittany Lions. A block. And not just any block, a block on the final play of the game that allowed Trace Mcsorley to find Juwan Johnson in the back of the end zone for a walk-off victory.
Barkley the Complete Player
As you can see from above there is so much more to Barkley’s game than just receiving yards. He is a complete player and a generational player. Players with his unique blend of speed, power, and vision do not come around very often. What’s even more amazing is that there is a play that sums all three of those attributes in one play.
Top Five Reasons to Draft Saquon Barkley
- Receiving Ability
- Big Play Threat
- Ultimate Teammate
- (Bonus) Saquon Barkley is every bit as good of a person that he is as a football player.
Saquon Barkley is the kind of player you can build a team around and I think NFL teams know that and they are salivating at the chance to have him still on the board when it’s their turn to pick. So what do you think about Saquon Barkley’s chances in the NFL draft? Where do you see him going and in what order? Let us know in the comments below.
What position will Barkley Barkley be drafted in this year’s draft?