2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley


PLAYER PROFILE


Height: 6-0

Weight: 233

College: Penn State

Class: Junior


TRAITS BREAKDOWN


VISION/INSTINCTS/PATIENCE (13.5/15)

  • Very patient runner who sets up blocks well
  • Good vision behind the line of scrimmage and in the open field
  • Anticipates creases and running lanes before they develop
  • Will dance and try to do too much at times when there is immediate disruption in the backfield instead of minimizing the loss on the play
  • Good at manipulating defenders with subtle footwork and body movements

BALANCE/BODY CONTROL (15/15)

  • Very good balance through contact and into/out of cuts
  • Steps out of and bounces off of tackles regularly

AGILITY (15/15)

  • Loose hips and quick feet allow for easy change-of-direction
  • Can make sudden lateral cuts without loss of speed

SPEED/BURST (15/15)

  • Great top-end speed
  • Extraordinary burst through the hole, to the edge and out of cuts.

POWER (8/10)

  • Good tackle-breaking and pile-pushing power
  • Steps through tackles fairly frequently and typically falls forward for extra yards after contact
  • Could improve at finishing runs given his size and lower body strength

ELUSIVENESS (10/10)

  • Extremely elusive in space and behind the line of scrimmage
  • Shiftiness allows him to avoid direct hits
  • Features an array of open-field moves such as juke, spin, stutter-step and hurdle

RECEIVING SKILLS (9.5/10)

  • Versatile receiver who can run routes out of the backfield or out of the slot
  • Good, fairly natural hands
  • Matchup nightmare for linebackers in coverage
  • Extremely dangerous in space
  • Solid route runner, but could use refinement
  • Can track the ball downfield

PASS PROTECTION (4/5)

  • Assignment-aware pass-blocker
  • Good at squaring up blitzers
  • Improved technique and success rate from 2016 to 2017
  • Ducks head into contact occasionally

BALL SECURITY (5/5)

  • Averaged fewer than 2 fumbles per year
  • 0 fumbles in 2017

DURABILITY (0)

  • No significant durability concerns
  • Missed two games as a freshman due to ankle injury

VERDICT


NFL COMPARISON: Marshall Faulk/LaDainian Tomlinson

Draft Grade: 95.00/100.00 — TOP 5 — generational talent; once-in-a-decade type of player

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