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Saquon Barkley greets the NFL with a 39-yard run

Second overall pick electrifies on his first NFL touch

NFL: Cleveland Browns at New York Giants
Saquon Barkley takes a handoff from Eli Manning.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Graphic by Joe DeLeone | Big Blue View

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It wasn’t quite Rodney Hampton going 90 yards the first time he touched the ball in a 1990 preseason game, but New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley introduced himself to the Cleveland Browns and the NFL with a 39-yard run the first time he touched the ball on Thursday night.

Barkley took a handoff from Eli Manning on the first play from scrimmage, made a quick cut to find a hole, then burst up the right sideline. The play started at the Giants’ 13-yard line and ended at Cleveland’s 48.

“The offensive line did a great job of creating space and creating a hole,” Barkley said. “I was able to have patience and Evan (Engram) did an unbelievable job of blocking on the backside, and I was able to burst through the hole, make a guy miss and get up field.”

Barkley, the second overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, has been the subject of tons of hype leading up to the 2018 season. He certainly looked worth it on that play.

Through two offensive series, Barkley has 5 carries for 43 yards. That appears to be it for Barkley tonight, and it was a nice way to debut.