Here’s why the Giants are eyeing Saquon Barkley at WR

Saquon Barkley


The New York Giants are looking to use Saquon Barkley in a variety of ways this season.

The 2022 NFL season should be interesting for the New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Not only is Barkley entering the final year of his rookie contract, but his role on New York’s offense is reportedly expanding. According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, the Giants moved Barkley all over the offensive lineup during OTA and minicamp practices this spring. They waved it out of the backfield, put it in the slot, and in some cases even used it as an outside receiving option.

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ESPN’s Jordan Raanan had a similar takedown after seeing Barkley this spring.

“The most notable observation of OTA #9 was that Saquon Barkley got a lot of work as a receiver.” Raanan wrote on Twitter earlier this month. “His involvement in the passing game seems to be increasing.”

It sounds like the Giants, under first-year head coach Brian Daboll, plan to use Barkley’s receiving skills a lot more than previous coaching staffs. And if you go back and watch the movie, it’s pretty easy to see why.

Barkley only had four touchdowns last season, and two of those were receptions when he was lined up outside the numbers. The first came in a Week 4 win against the New Orleans Saints and the second in a Week 14 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Against the Saints, Barkley blew right past Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore (who appeared to be sitting on a short stretch). Safety assistance was late, and quarterback Daniel Jones dropped the ball in fast enough for Barkley to make a cut and turn the play into a 54-yard home call.

Against the Chargers, Barkley legitimately broke the ankles of cornerback Michael Davis with a slant-and-go (AKA “Sluggo”) route. Barkley provided so much separation that even backup quarterback Mike Glennon couldn’t miss him in the end zone.

Daboll’s staff must have seen this film and realized that Barkley could be a more useful weapon in the passing game.

Take a look back at Saquon Barkley’s rookie year

As you look back on Saquon Barkley’s successful performance as a rookie, you’ll quickly realize that it’s an element the Giants have been missing on offense since then. Barkley ranked 13th among all players (and second among all running backs) with 91 receptions that year, and his 721 reception yards helped him Lead the entire NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,028. He also scored four of his team high 15 touchdowns that year as a pass catcher.

In just his second game as a pro – a 20-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys – Barkley set career highs in both receptions (14) and goals received (16).

Barkley is clearly capable of handling a large workload as a receiver, but the Giants just haven’t used him that way. In 28 games since his rookie year, Barkley has barely surpassed his 2018 reception tally with 99 total catches for 761 yards and four touchdowns.

Brian Daboll sounds ready to unleash Barkley

If this spring was a test to see how much Barkley can handle, it sounds like he passed the test with flying colors. Daboll was recently asked about Barkley’s potential influence this season and spoke in rather glowing terms.

“He was good,” Daboll said of SNY Giants. “He was able to do everything we asked him to do… I see a talented player. I’m glad he’s on our team. I look forward to working with him. He’s been great since I’ve been here.”

Daboll is tasked with revitalizing the Giants’ offense, and revitalizing Barkley’s receiving impact will go a long way toward achieving that goal. Here’s why the Giants are eyeing Saquon Barkley at WR

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