Packers 2018 Draft scouting report: Running back Saquon Barkley

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley /

A look at the top running back in this year’s class, Saquon Barkley, and his potential fit with the Green Bay Packers.

Saquon Barkley is considered by a lot of people to be the best running back prospect coming out of college in the last decade, and that says a lot considering names like Adrian Peterson, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette came before him.

Barkley is the type of player that can immediately improve an offense and he may be in serious consideration for the number one pick in this year’s draft.

This represents the recent shift in a trend where running backs have gone from undraftable in the first round to potential top-five picks.


Barkley is well-rounded. He is just as effective running on the outside as he is on the inside. Very agile and elusive in the open field. Probably the most elusive running back that I have seen in college.

Barkley can take over any football game. He uses his eyes very well and knows what holes to run through. He has very good ball-carrier vision.

He does a great job of breaking tackles, and is very powerful for 5-foot-11.

Barkley is nearly unstoppable in the open field, and hurdles over defenders with ease.

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He starts out running slow in order to read the defense, similar to what Le’Veon Bell does. Very intelligent at reading defenses for a college running back. He will make life a lot easier for whatever quarterback he plays with, not just because of his running ability, but also his ability in the passing game as well.

Barkley is good in pass protection.

He has an impressive stiff-arm, but rarely needs to use it as he is so elusive. He also has a good spin move.

Barkley was used in a lot of option plays by James Franklin at Penn State. If the team that drafts him wants to implement option plays for him they will be able to.

His speed will allow a team to use him on kickoffs. I would still be hesitant to use my potential top-five running back pick on special teams plays.

He has the potential to be used in the slot, similar to how Pittsburgh uses Bell.

He had an absolutely insane combine performance, with a 4.40 40-time, 29 bench press, and a 41-inch vertical, per He also ranked in the 90th percentile among running backs in several different categories by MockDraftable.


Barkley had 671 carries in college. It can be good to have that much experience, but it is still a lot of tread to have on your tires.

He dropped some throws in college. If he inherits an NFL quarterback like Eli Manning, Tyrod Taylor or Andrew Luck, that problem could be fixed pretty quick.

Fit with Green Bay

The combination of Aaron Rodgers and Saquon Barkley could be on the caliber of John Elway and Terrell Davis, Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell, or Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara. If he is somehow available for Green Bay at 14, they should buy a jet pack to get that pick to the podium as fast as possible.

Could he end up in Green Bay?

He might be a top-five lock. So unless Green Bay wants to make a Julio Jones-type trade to get him, he won’t be wearing green next year (unless it’s in a Jets uniform).

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When will he be picked?

Top 5

Pro comparison

Le’Veon Bell

Career outlook

Future Pro Bowler