Saquon Barkley: If ROY Doesn't Sway Mindset of Critics, 'I Don't Know What Will'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2019

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE NFL -Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants poses with the award for AP offensive rookie of the year in the press room at the 8th Annual NFL Honors at The Fox Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Atlanta. (Photo by AJ Mast/Invision for NFL/AP Images)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

New York Giants star Saquon Barkley will let his resume speak for itself when people say that the team should have taken a quarterback over the running back with the second overall pick in last year's draft.

"If a Rookie of the Year doesn't sway that mindset, I don't know what will," Barkley said, according to Kimberly Jones of NFL Network.

Barkley silenced some of his critics by piling up more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage as a rookie last season. His 1,307 rushing yards finished second only to Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott (1,434), and his 11 rushing touchdowns were the fifth-most in football. 

He also hauled in a team-high 91 receptions for 721 yards and four scores.

That all-around monster season helped him edge out No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

But as impressive as Barkley may have been, there are still some who believe New York made a mistake by not drafting Eli Manning's successor last year. Mayfield was the first player off the board, but the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen were all still available when the Giants went on the clock.

With Manning under center, New York has made the playoffs just once in the past seven seasons, piling up a total of eight wins over the past two seasons. The 38-year-old Manning is under contract only through the 2019 season.

New York finds itself in a similar position as last year as it will pick near the top of the draft, this time at sixth overall. This year's quarterback class is not viewed to be as deep as last year's, although Oklahoma's Kyler Murray and Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins are projected to be early first-round picks. After those two, though, there is expected to be a drop-off.

That means the Giants could miss out on a potential future franchise quarterback once again if they don't move up in the draft. It's worth mentioning that Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reported last month that the team may make a run at Rosen should the Arizona Cardinals decide to take Murray with the first overall pick next week.

Regardless of who is under center, the early returns on Barkley have been promising. Not only that, but New York's offense figures to center around Barkley following the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this offseason. 

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