The New York Giants haven’t had much success since winning Super Bowl XLVI to end the 2011 season.
They’ve only had one playoff game since, which they lost to the Green Bay Packers.
The franchise hoped that drafting Saquon Barkley would help turn their fortunes around.
Initially, it looked like former general manager Dave Gettleman was right because the former Penn State standout had consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Barkley’s exploits earned him the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and a Pro Bowl selection in the same year.
Unfortunately, injuries derailed his once-promising career.
A torn ACL ended his 2020 season after two games.
He bounced back a year later and played 13 games.
However, he only had 593 yards and two touchdowns.
Those are respectable numbers for someone who returned from an injury but a far cry from what he produced in his first two seasons.
Worst yet, his burst of speed is gone, as shown by this tweet from NFL on CBS.
Fewest yards per rush since start of 2020
(among players with 150 attempts)
Saquon Barkley 3.46
Todd Gurley 3.48
Frank Gore 3.49 pic.twitter.com/UTEFWomPqk
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) April 11, 2022
It shows that Barkley has the fewest yards per rush since the start of the 2020 season.
Never Draft A Running Back Early
For a while, Barkley bucked an unwritten rule during the NFL Draft.
Drafting a running back that early can be risky, especially if they suffer a knee injury.
In today’s pass-happy era, quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive linemen are given more importance on offense.
On the other hand, defensive ends and cornerbacks often get the big bucks on defense.
There are talented running backs available late in the draft, and they can help any team just as much.
Sadly, that general principle sticks after how Barkley’s career unfolded.