Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley needed just 1 carry to show why the NFL world was drooling over him in the draft

  • Saquon Barkley’s first run in the NFL was a 39-yard sprint in which he broke a few tackles and juked defenders.
  • Expectations for Barkley were already high coming into the season after a monster career at Penn State and eye-popping combine performance.
  • He finished his first preseason game with 43 yards on five carries.

Expectations are high for New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley.

The Giants took Barkley with the second pick out of the draft, a high spot for a running back, betting that the Penn State playmaker could add another dimension to their offense.

On Thursday, in his NFL debut against the Cleveland Browns, Barkley needed only one run to show his promise. On the first carry of his career, Barkley danced around defenders, before busting out of the gates to break off a 39-yard run.

Barkley was one of the most dynamic players in all of college football last season, running for 1,903 yards from scrimmage, with 21 touchdowns in his junior year.

Barkley hype only continued at the combine when he put up freakish numbers. He put up 29 reps of 225 lb in the bench press, ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, and had a 41-inch vertical, all numbers that topped elite players at other positions in the NFL.

Some think the money that goes to a second overall pick can be better invested in other positions. Giants GM Dave Gettleman said after the draft that what they saw of Barkley made the concerns irrelevant – he’s simply too good to pass over.

Barkley finished with 43 yards on five carries, his next four carries failing to top what he showed on his first run. Nonetheless, the single flash he showed gave a hint at what might come next.