Barkley was voted the sixteenth best player in the entire NFL by his peers — fellow NFL players. That sort of recognition is normally reserved for veterans who have had a chance to create a track record and body of work. For a rookie to be rated that highly, he has to be pretty special.
But former Giants’ quarterback, and current NFL Network analyst, David Carr thinks that is too many digits. He believes anything other than a top-10 ranking is disrespectful to Barkley.
Saquon did everything for the Giants ... and then some
Saquon Barkley got hosed. The Giants running back finished his rookie season with 2,028 scrimmage yards -- third-most by a rookie in NFL history. He did all of this behind a poor O-line, and I’m convinced he would have been an MVP candidate if the Giants had stayed relevant down the stretch. Yet, he was voted No. 16 in this year’s top 100. Look at it this way: Ezekiel Elliott posted 1,994 scrimmage yards as a rookie in 2016, and was voted No. 7 in the ensuing top 100 list. Barkley deserves the same kind of respect.
Raptor’s Thoughts: I’m not sure about Barkley being hosed, so much as being a Cowboy elevated Elliott’s ranking higher than it should have been.
If we’re going to compare Barkley’s ranking to other rookies to make the list, let’s look at Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham came in to the league, rewriting the record books and accomplishing feats that only Randy Moss has matched in the history of the NFL. But unlike Moss, Beckham did what he did without the benefit of a rookie off-season, training camp, or pre-season — and in four fewer games.
Beckham was ranked 32nd in the Top - 100, 16 spots higher than Barkley.
I would say that Barkley’s ranking is fine where it is. Barkley probably needs to be more consistent on a down-to-down basis in between the highlight plays, but as long as he is able to back up his rookie season, he will be in the top - 10 after his sophomore season, just like OBJ.