Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State) – 94

This is quite a year for RBs. Plenty of NFL experts will doubtless be examining the relative merits of Barclay and Derrius Guice over the next few months and they are indubitably both 1st round prospects. Personally, however, I prefer Guice because, at the moment, I think that he’s a more complete RB. Barclay is a really powerful, dynamic runner, with elite speed, power and vision. I love how he finishes his runs; there will be DBs all over the country who will be offering up little prayers that Barclay simply trots out of bounds at the end of a run and, beyond question, he shows the sort of explosion that you want in a starting RB. I do, however, have some minor quibbles about Barclay. He may well have had a father or grandfather who was a big Marcus Allen fan but, for me, he leaves his feet and goes airborne far too often. He has a wonderful jump-cut but, more often than not, it is to his right; if I were an NFL defensive co-ordinator, I would ensure that he has to run to his left. Finally, I have slight reservations regarding his pass protection.   In the second quarter of the Wisconsin game, he was a bit of a liability against NFL calibre defenders coming off the edge. It is fair to say, in mitigation, that he was dealing with an injury throughout that game but, nevertheless, it set a few alarm bells ringing. Overall, though, I have no doubt that Barclay is a 1st round talent and I look forward to charting his progress with interest in the 2017 season.

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