As Giants running back Saquon Barkley tries to get his career pointed in the right direction, he’ll be going in several different directions when exiting the huddle this season.
Via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, the second overall pick in the 2018 draft has lined up in multiple different spots during the 2022 offseason workouts, as coach Brian Daboll implements a new offense. From running back to slot receiver to wide receiver to motion receiver, Barkley is doing plenty.
“I think it’s helpful, not only for myself, but opening up other things for the offense,” Barkley said this week, per Vacchiano. “I haven’t really moved [around] like this since college. I kind of went back and watched a little bit of my college stuff to see stuff that I was able to do there.”
He did enough in college to become regarded as a can’t-miss prospect in the NFL. And he didn’t miss as a rookie. It was injuries, a basic reality of the position he plays, that caused the problems for Barkley in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
This year, the option season of his rookie contract, will see him used less in the car-crash reality of running between the tackles.
“I feel like whenever I can get the ball in space, I feel like that’s where I’m at my best,” Barkley said. “I’ve got the confidence now whether it’s in between the tackles, outside tackles, out wide or whatever, especially when you have confidence in your body again. I feel like I’m capable of helping the team. But especially in space.”
It’s been a struggle for Barkley to get fully healthy. Now, he’ll just have to stay that way. If he’s being tackled by defensive backs on the edge and not running straight into a meat grinder, maybe he’ll have a good chance to have his best season in four years.