In 2018, Saqaun Barkley was a 21 year old rookie. He had 1,307 rushing yards (5.0 YPC) and 91 catches for 721 yards. He had 2028 yards from scrimmage (352 touches) and scored 15 TD's with zero fumbles.
In 2005, Tiki Barber was a 30 year old veteran in his 9th season. He had 1,860 yards rushing (5.2 YPC) and 54 catches for 530 yards. He had 2,390 yards from scrimmage (411 touches) with 11 TD's and one fumble. It should be mentioned that Tiki would have had more TD's but Brandon Jacobs was being used as a goal line back and had 7 TD's. Tiki was All Pro in 2005 and reduced his fumbles from an average of eight during the prior five seasons.
Saquan has been called a high variance back and it has been noted that if you take away his 7 longest runs during 2018 his YPC drops to 3.5 which is a net loss of 1.5 YPC. If you were to take away Tiki's longest seven runs (95, 59, 55, 55, 49, 34, 33, 31) his YPC drops to 4.1 which is a net loss of 1.1 YPC.
It should be noted that Saquan was running behind an OL of Solder (30 years old), Hernandez (23), Spencer Pulley (25), Jamon Brown (25) & Chad Wheeler (24). Solder and Hernandez have been heavily criticized on this site and the other three combined for an additional 800 career snaps following 2018. This may account for some of the players where Saquan is tackled for little or no gain.
Tiki's OL was Luke Petticoat (29), Diehl (25), O'Hara (28), Snee (23) & McKenzie (26).Pettigout played eight seasons with the Giants and was a seven year starter. Diehl was an 11 year career Giant. He started every season and made one Pro Bowl. O'Hara played 11 seasons, starting 9 of them, and was a three time Pro Bowler. Snee is in the Giants Ring of Honor. McKenzie played 11 seasons and started in 10 of them.
These two seasons are reasonably comparable statistically with Tiki probably have a slight edge. However, his O-line was enormously better and was also supported by Shockey's blocking at TE as well as Toomer and Plax who were both terrific downfield blockers.
Ultimately, the point is that Saquan Barkley is an enormously talented back who has played extremely well when healthy. It is nonsense to identify narrow statistical items to discredit him and very poor form to challenge his toughness, This is a guy that that rarely fumbles and has played through some very tough injuries with the defense keying on him every down. Anyone who complains that he doesn't compare to the Wayne Gallman's of the world are often the ones who complain about Garrett's offense. What's the point of having a Ferrari if you're just going to drive it to Costco and then complain you can't fit the paper towels in the car?
The injuries are a very real thing and it is entirely possible that, like OBJ, he may have lost the explosiveness that made him special. That's just bad luck and not his fault. He's a hard working kid and leaves it on the field. He deserves no criticism for injuries. The hand wringing about having to pay him if he does well should also stop. He has not demonstrated, for even a moment, that he is a selfish player. Following this season, he and the Giants will both go about their business. If he doesn't perform, the Giants will likely cut bait, as is their right. If he performs to his ability, he (and his agent) will negotiate to be paid accordingly, as is his right.
Schoen and Daboll have indicated they have an idea about how they want to build a roster. It is far too early to determine if this is a real thing or simply wishful thinking. But they will ultimately make the decisions regarding both DJ and Barkley. Believe both will show improved play this year and truly believe Barkley will demonstrate the full range of his abilities.