Not since 1995 has a running back been selected with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, when the Cincinnati Bengals chose Penn State product Ki-Jana Carter. Now another Nittany Lions running back might end the drought: Saquon Barkley is “in the mix” for the Cleveland Browns, who have the top draft pick this season, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
After days of evaluation at the #Combine, one thing is clear: Penn St RB Saquon Barkley is firmly in the mix at No. 1 for the #Browns, sources say. Would be the first RB at that spot since Ki-Jana Carter to the #Bengals in 1995.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2018
Barkley has been turning heads at the 2018 NFL Combine this weekend, registering eye-popping up numbers in various performance drills. He had a 41-inch vertical leap, tied for the eighth best mark by a running back in the last 13 years; he had a 4.40 second 40-yard dash, the second-fastest among running back’s this year; he put up 29 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, tying for the day’s best for running backs.
And on Saturday, Barkley graced the back cover of the New York Post, the picture doctored to give Barkley a Superman logo on his chest and cape on his back. The New York Giants have the second pick in the draft.
Barkley might not make it that far, however, if the Browns decide to select him. The running back, for his part, told reporters it’s unimportant where he’s selected.
“I don’t care if I’m the first pick or the last pick. I’m going to come in and compete,” Barkley said.