NY selected running back Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall in Thursday night's NFL Draft in Arlington, Texas, passing on a bevy of quarterbacks and defensive end Bradley Chubb. Guys like Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt has shown in recent years that running backs and come in and have success at the professional level right away.
Many experts had Penn State running back Saquon Barkley selected in that spot, but that doesn't appear to be a sure thing. The pounding backs endure makes them past their prime by age 28.
Since the glory days of Joe Namath almost 50 years ago, the Jets have been searching for a homegrown QB to deliver a similar type of sustained success as the face of the franchise.
In short, good running backs can be found anywhere, according to the analysis. Brady, a sixth-round pick, is the rare exception. Only three of the leading rushers on the past 16 Super Bowl winners were first-round picks.
"I think he can do what (Alvin) Kamara can do at 230 (pounds)", Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin told Sports Illustrated.
If there are areas of his game to nitpick, Barkley needs to refine his pass blocking and become disciplined in following designed holes in the National Football League, where trying to find the end zone on every carry will lead to more negative plays. Despite an emphasis on throwing the ball, a strong running game is still a vital aspect of a championship contender. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who lost to the Patriots in the AFC championship game, led the NFL.
Barkley joins an offense loaded with weapons at quarterback Eli Manning's disposal.
We could easily see a record six quarterbacks selected in the first round alone and possibly four in the top five picks - or even top four picks; I couldn't entirely rule that out - and five in the top 15 selections is hardly out of the question as well.
When Barkley graduated from Whitehall High School near Philadephia in 2015, he was rated the No. 2 overall prospect in the state by Rivals.com behind Central Valley defensive back Jordan Whitehead, who went to Pitt and also declared early for this year's draft.
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