NFL scouts anticipate MVP-like season for Saquon Barkley with Philadelphia Eagles


Many analysts criticized the New York Giants for making Saquon Barkley the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He instantly proved them wrong by winning Offensive Rookie of the Year after recording 2,028 yards from scrimmage to go with 15 touchdowns.

But Barkley would have just two more 1,000-yard rushing seasons and three where he topped the 1K mark from scrimmage while battling injuries, including an ACL tear in 2020. Then, when he finally became an unrestricted free agent, the Giants didn’t put forth a competitive offer, so Barkley signed a three-year, $37.5 million contract with their rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Once again, the Giants faced criticism, though this time for not being willing to pony up and pay their best skill-position player. Seeing him land with a rival contender just added more heat.

The Eagles were not blasted for paying a 27-year-old running back near the top of market value, especially since they did sign a two-time Pro Bowler who may not have been used correctly with the Giants. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Barkley will have a chance to run behind what’s traditionally been one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. We’ll see if that remains true after Jason Kelce’s retirement, but the Eagles still have a strong foundation in place.

Now, according to ESPN’s NFL insider Jeremy Fowler, some are expecting a career year from the seventh-year pro.

“They have the ultimate weapon in Saquon Barkley. I’ve talked to several scouts around the league who believe that Barkley can have that Christian McCaffrey to San Francisco-type impact. A premier talent, who goes to a place where he’s never had a better supporting cast. “

Jeremy Fowler on Saquon Barkley’s impact with Philadelphia Eagles

Barkley’s career-high in rushing yards came in 2022 when he had 1,312 on 295 carries. There’s a belief that he can be even better in Philadelphia, where he’ll benefit from being on an offense with multiple other playmakers, from Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

While Barkley has proven he’s already a good player, now we’ll get to see just how great he can be. If he can take a CMC-like leap, the Eagles will be getting one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL, much like the 49ers have with McCaffrey.

Remember, McCaffrey’s previous career-high in rushing yards came in 2019 when he recorded 1,387 yards on 287 carries. Many felt he had reached his peak, but the 49ers didn’t agree. Last season, he broke his previous personal best, with a 1,459-yard season on 272 carries. He also added 564 receiving yards to get up to an NFL-best 2,023 yards from scrimmage.

If the Eagles can utilize their new toy much like Kyle Shanahan weaponized McCaffrey, then we could indeed see a record year from Barkley, and all the Giants could do is sit back and regret their decision.

Related: NFL teams ‘scared to death’ to face one first-round rookie

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