2018 Stampede Blue NFL Draft Guide Player Profile
How Saquon Barkley would Transform the Colts Offense
There are very few offensive players who enter an NFL Draft with the ability to make an impact in just about every facet of your offense. The previous generational talents from the last two drafts, Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley, were absolutely outstanding running back prospects who were worthy of their early first round draft billing. However, both of these bruising backs projected to be volume ball carriers who punish the defense with inside the tackle runs and who plan to impose their will physically. Don’t get me wrong, both are extremely impressive athletes in their own right but Barkley is different.
At 6’0”, 233 lbs., Saquon Barkley has the size the run the ball inside. He is strong enough to hold up at the NFL level on short-yardage and goal line situations. He is also fast enough (4.40 40 yard dash) to leave everyone in the defense grasping for air if he gets to the second level. He is a natural pass-catcher out of the backfield and is relatively polished as a blocker for a collegiate prospect.
Guys like him aren’t supposed to happen. Typically the best athletes have a glaring weakness somewhere because they get lazy or complacent. They fall in love with the occasional big run for a touchdown and don’t find the time to focus on the details. Barkley isn’t one of those guys.
He would be particularly well suited for the multiple front offense Frank Reich will install in 2018. He can line up all over the field to create mismatches and is the type of player that you’ll rarely have to worry about taking off of the field when you get things going. In an offense that plans to go more up-tempo style and that will rely more heavily on no huddle, he is an ideal player.
If there is a downside to taking Saquon Barkley at 6, it is only that is would mean missing out on another premium player at another position. Imagine having the chance to take a player like Bradley Chubb, who might play a big role in helping the defense generate pressure on the opposing quarterback. What if you took Quenton Nelson to bolster the offensive line and not only keep the pocket cleaner for Andrew Luck when he returns this season but to open holes for another running back who is available later in the draft in this particularly deep draft (or for second-year running back Marlon Mack for that matter).
There will always be a trade-off when it comes to making these decisions. There is little reason to believe that any team who selects Saquon Barkley would later regret it. He is a premium player and an offensive nightmare. The question is, would another player ultimately be more valuable that early in the draft for a team that has a lot of holes to fill? That is harder to answer.
If it makes it any easier, it is unlikely he will fall to the sixth pick.