The only thing that Saquon Barkley has to prove at the NFL combine this week is that he’s every bit as good as advertised.
”For a guy like Barkley who has worked so hard to develop his gifts Authentic Nyheim Hines Jersey , I mean, for him it ought to be a victory celebration. It really should,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. ”You got to come in and knock it down, one drill after another.
”He’s going to walk out of there four days later and everyone’s going to go: `Wow, he’s just as good or better than we thought he was.”’
Then, there would be no doubt that a running back will go in the top five picks of the draft for the third consecutive year, joining Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 and Leonard Fournette in 2017.
The Penn State star might even be the first running back selected in the top two picks since Reggie Bush in 2006 or even the first to go No. 1 overall since another Nittany Lion, Ki-Jana Carter, in 1995.
”I’m just focused on coming out here and trying to dominate this combine,” Barkley said.
Everyone expects him to do just that.
General managers and coaches know all about the 5-foot-11, 233-pound back with a magnificent medley of jaw-dropping quickness and excellent acceleration, speed, balance, vision and power to go with an off-the-charts work ethic who helped Penn State dismantle Washington’s vaunted defense in the Fiesta Bowl .
Mayock said Barkley will dazzle teams even when he’s not on his feet.
”When he goes into meetings at night,” Mayock said, ”he’s going to blow people away.”
Barkley, who grew up boxing like his father and great uncle but was always drawn more to the gridiron than the ring, quickly rose to national prominence as one of the country’s most dynamic players as a true freshman at Penn State in 2015.
He flashed a frenetic running style to compile a lengthy highlight reel full of hurdles, spin moves and jukes on his way to a program-best 43 rushing touchdowns in three years.
Mayock said Barkley is at least equal to the last four top-10 running backs – Fournette, Elliott, Todd Gurley and Christian McCaffrey – all of whom made their teams significantly better as rookies.
”I could make the case that this kid Barkley is the best of those guys, best of all five of them,” Mayock said. ”He’s clean off the field. And he’ll be great in your locker room. I would be absolutely stunned if this kid doesn’t go in the Top 5.”
The Browns, Giants and Colts own the top three picks in next month’s draft. Cleveland also owns No. 4 and Denver has the fifth selection.
”Any team that wants to draft me,” Barkley said, ”is a blessing to me.”
Barkley said he embraces the chance to transform a downtrodden team like the Browns, who have one win in two years, or the Giants, coming off a down year: ”You want to be part of something like that Authentic Johnny Townsend Jersey , something that’s bigger than yourself.”
Whoever ends up choosing Barkley can expect to be picking a lot later in next year’s draft. (Fournette’s Jaguars are picking 29th this year, five picks after McCaffrey’s Panthers).
Barkley averaged nearly 6 yards a carry as a junior in State College, rushing for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns and catching 54 passes for 632 yards and three TDs. He also completed two passes – one for a score – and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
He won the Paul Hornung Award as college football’s most versatile player and left Penn State after his junior year just 89 yards shy of the program rushing record with 3,843 yards.
”I feel whether I’m running the ball from the 99-yard line or the 1-yard line that I can find a way to get into the end zone. I can do it all, I feel like,” Barkley said. ”I can go over the top of you, I can beat you with speed, I can beat you with some wiggle, I could run through you.”
That may come off as boastful, but not when Barkley says it.
He said he watches all of today’s great NFL running backs but models his game after none of them.
”I’ve never wanted to be like anybody,” Barkley said. ”That’s something that my dad taught me growing up: `Never want to be like someone, be the next you.’ But I am a fan of the game, I’m a fan of the position and I watch everyone.”
Including Barry Sanders on YouTube .
If he had to pick anyone he’d like to be like, it’d be the Lions’ Hall of Famer.
”That was a great guy that I looked up to growing up not only on the field – off the field. The way he carried himself, he was humble,” Barkley said. ”When he scored a touchdown, he’d give the ball to the ref. If you look at his football life, he’s carrying cups to his offensive linemen, and I think that’s what a running back should be about. That’s what our position should be about and I try to model myself after that.”
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — LeSean McCoy is doing his best to remain patient. It hasn’t been easy.
Buffalo’s trademark rushing attack has gone missing one month into the season, making things more difficult for a new-look offense trying to find its identity with a rookie quarterback. McCoy has surprisingly been a nonfactor for Buffalo with the running game stuck in neutral.
“We’re just trying to figure it out,” McCoy said.
Getting back to basics in the run game is a point of emphasis for the Bills (1-3) as they look for a much-needed spark. The 31st-ranked offense was expected to lean on McCoy this season, but so far that hasn’t been the case. The Bills are 24th in rushing, down from sixth a year ago, and McCoy hasn’t been a focal point like in previous years.
In three games, McCoy has 85 yards rushing on 21 attempts. He also has eight receptions for 41 yards, giving him 126 yards from scrimmage on the season — typical numbers in a single game for McCoy.
McCoy did miss one game with a rib injury but was not limited due to the injury in Week 4 against Green Bay, a game in which he saw only five carries.
“At the end of the day Anton Stralman Jersey , all I can control is just when I get the ball in my hand, making plays when my number is called,” McCoy said. “It’s as simple as that. Help the team win games. … They know I want to be involved. They know I want to get the ball every play, so they know that.”
The Bills built their offense around McCoy the previous two years and he rewarded them handsomely. A Pro Bowler in five consecutive seasons, McCoy had a career-best average of 5.4 yards per carry in 2016 (along with 1,267 yards, the fourth-highest total of his career) and 1,138 rushing yards a season ago, when he helped lead the Bills to their first playoff berth since 1999.
Getting McCoy involved would be welcome for Buffalo for a variety of reasons. Not only is McCoy the team’s best playmaker, the Bills are looking to take pressure off Josh Allen, who struggled mightily against the Packers. Allen had just 58 yards passing in the first half against Green Bay and finished with 151 yards and two interceptions.
“The game plan we have to win football games here in Buffalo is manage the game, play great defense, score in the red zone,” McCoy said. “It’s all the small things, give ourselves a chance to win. That’s all I can really say. We’re not the first team with a young quarterback. Because with a formula like that, you need a good running game, you need a great defense to help the young quarterback out. And I think we have that.”
McCoy will need some assistance from the rest of Buffalo’s struggling offense. The line has had difficulty moving on from Eric Wood, Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn, who all departed in the offseason. And the wide receivers, led by the inconsistent Kelvin Benjamin, have had trouble creating separation downfield and catching the ball with consistency.
Coach Sean McDermott stressed the need for Buffalo to be better along the line of scrimmage.
“If you don’t win at the line of scrimmage in the run or the pass game, you’ve got no chance,” McDermott said. “That’s a football fundamental 101 and we have to win at the line of scrimmage. You go back and you double down on things you believe in: the fundamentals, mindset, the plan. There’s a lot of hands in that, it’s not just the offensive line. It’s every position establishing the line of scrimmage.”
The task will be difficult on Sunday against Tennessee. The Titans (3-1) have yet to allow a rushing touchdown and have only allowed seven touchdowns total.
“We’ve got to make these adjustments offensively,” McDermott said. “That running game’s gotta get going.”
NOTES: Safeties Micah Hyde (groin) and Rafael Bush (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday. Bush is considered day to day, while Hyde is week to week. … The Bills claimed defensive tackle Jordan Phillips off waivers from Miami and released defensive tackle Robert Thomas. Phillips had a sideline outburst on Sunday in Miami’s 38-7 loss to New England and said on his Instagram account Tuesday that he “couldn’t be happier” to leave Miami. Phillips was a second-round pick of the Dolphins in 2015.
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