Saquon Barkley Draft Profile

Saquon Barkley draft profile


  • Elusive
  • Powerful
  • Runs with great pad level
  • Great change of direction
  • Solid vision
  • Decent pass catcher
  • Competitive
  • High Motor/character
  • Work ethic
  • Return skills

Analysis: Saquon Barkley was a man among boys during his time at Penn State. His compact frame carries a muscular, powerful trunk. He is a high tempo runner with urgent underpinnings as his core. Watching his tape, he always runs with optimal pad level and has fluid hips. His knee bend and quick-twitch powers sudden stops paired with aggressive jump cuts and spin moves to leave tacklers hanging. He can alter the course of the run whenever he wants. Presses line of scrimmage to give himself ample time to make his reads. Vision is solid. Lateral burst and agility are top-notch. Has plant-and-go burst to rocket around the corner when needed. Good feel for managing distance between himself and defenders once he finds an opening. He doesn’t have the best hands in the running back class, but he is good enough to make an impact in the receiving game. His best trait as a football player is his unbelievable work ethic and commitment to the game. Leadership abilities will make an impact on any team as a rookie. Added two kick returns for touchdowns this year and will do what he must to help his team win.


  • Doesn’t have high broken tackle numbers
  • Inconsistent leg drive
  • Too cute running East/West
  • Pass protection

Analysis: Despite what you may hear, Barkley’s broken tackle numbers are modest at best–he’s more elusive than powerful. He will need to develop a more north/south mindset as a pro. Doesn’t always trust his run crease and will look to find side doors to bounce out of. Too much east-west running–he was able to do it in college and get to the edge, but in the pros that will not always be effective. He has had the occasional drop in the receiving game, more to do with focus than anything else. One part of his game that will really need to be improved is in pass protection. Whether it was Penn State’s scheme, or his lack of commitment, he struggled at times ‘bodying’ up blitzing linebackers.

Is he the next Ezekiel Elliott?

Yes and no. He has a lot of similarities to the former 4th overall pick, but there are some obvious differences as well. When it comes to work ethic, character and off-the-field leadership, Barkley blows Zeke out of the water. But when it comes to pass protection, understanding and picking up blitzes, Barkley is not in the same class as Zeke. Both are similar in terms of measurements and running style and both will be selected within the Top 5 picks. 

Draft Projection: Top 5

NFL Comparison: LaDainian Tomlinson

Draft Rank: 2nd overall

Find Me

Dan Schalk

Dan Schalk is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for MFST and can be heard weekly on the 'My Fantasy Podcast'. He is likely watching Seinfeld right now, not that there's anything wrong with that.
Dan Schalk
Find Me

Latest posts by Dan Schalk (see all) SchalkBig TenNFLNFL DraftRecent PostsNFL,NFL Draft,Penn State Nittany Lions,Saquon Barkley,Saquon Barkley DraftSaquon Barkley Draft Profile Strengths: Elusive Powerful Runs with great pad level Great change of direction Solid vision Decent pass catcher Competitive High Motor/character ...