He had at least 1,000 rushing yards in each of his three seasons at Penn State.
Barkley also scored 43 touchdowns on the ground throughout his collegiate career.
He finished his final season at University Park with 18 rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns, and two touchdowns off kickoff returns.
That stellar season led ESPN, Sporting News, Walter Camp, Associated Press, and the Football Writers Association of America to make him a First-team All-American.
Saquon Barkley gets his first TD since Dec. 29, 2019 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2021
It looked like the Giants made the right choice after Barkley’s first two seasons in the pros.
He played all 16 games in his rookie season and finished with 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Barkley also had 721 yards and four receiving touchdowns to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors and a Pro Bowl nod.
The following year, he still finished with 1,441 total yards and eight touchdowns despite missing three games.
However, things went south for Barkley starting in his third NFL season.
Saquon Barkley played 84% of the snaps and had 22 touches for 94 yards and a TD pic.twitter.com/3RKcib3Dt7
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) September 26, 2021
He started with 15 carries for six yards and six receptions for 60 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But he left early in Week 2 versus the Chicago Bears after suffering a knee injury that turned out to be a season-ending torn ACL.
His rehabilitation went on schedule and he was able to play in the Giants 2021 season opener.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t look the same in his return with just 3.4 yards per carry and one touchdown in three games.
Fewest yards per rush, among RB since 2020:
Saquon Barkley 2.90
Duke Johnson 3.05
Peyton Barber 3.08
Joshua Kelley 3.19
Benny Snell Jr 3.27
*min. 50 rushes pic.twitter.com/9jkpFITfM2
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) September 30, 2021
Whether or not he returns to his old form is still up to debate.
Worse, the Giants remain winless after Week 3.
Looking back, they wouldn’t be in this situation if they drafted these players over Barkley.
3. Quenton Nelson
The Giants have well-documented problems at the offensive line.
Despite his current injury, Nelson has become a cornerstone of the Indianapolis Colts line.
Quenton Nelson career stats:
🔹 2,073 pass-blocking snaps
🔹 3 sacks allowed pic.twitter.com/jWzxxNhAyr
— PFF (@PFF) March 2, 2021
He was a significant player in the team’s playoff run last season by becoming an impenetrable force that gave Philip Rivers time to make plays.
Having him on board might even have prolonged Eli Manning’s stint with the Giants.
2. Josh Allen
The Giants lacked foresight that Manning was at the home stretch of his career.
They did draft Jones a year later, but they could also have taken a quarterback in 2018.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) September 29, 2021
But seeing how their careers turned out, the Giants had a shot in taking Josh Allen and have him learn the game as Manning’s backup.
Their offensive dynamic would be different with Allen’s rocket arm, and they might dominate the NFC East for the foreseeable future.
1. Lamar Jackson
Shockingly, the former Louisville standout fell to Baltimore in the last pick of round one.
The Ravens even selected tight end Hayden Hurst at No. 25 before him.
Lamar Jackson is still playing with a chip on his shoulder while dominating the league with his versatility.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 30, 2021
The 2019 NFL MVP is the only quarterback with multiple seasons of at least 1,000 rushing yards.
If only the Giants could turn back the hands of time, they could get a reliable thrower who is also a threat in the running game.NEXT: Saquon Barkley Pick May Have Doomed Dave Gettleman From The Start