Saquon Barkley might not be the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. But there’s not a better player in the draft class, according to ESPN analyst Bill Polian.
Polian, who spent more than 25 years in NFL front offices and was the General Manager of the Bills, Panthers and Colts, praised Penn State’s star running back during a Thursday morning appearance on SportsCenter.
“Saquon Barkley, in my humble opinion, is the best player in this draft,” Polian said. “He fits for anyone. He can block, he can catch, he can run. He has size, speed, toughness, agility. He has it all.”
But Barkley still could be left out of the top five in next year’s draft. In Todd McShay’s initial 2018 NFL mock draft, Barkley was projected to go sixth overall to the Cleveland Browns. Barkley was slated to be picked behind three quarterbacks: USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen.
Todd McShay's first Insider mock draft is out.
— ESPN (@espn) December 13, 2017
Barkley said he won’t make his NFL Draft decision until after Penn State faces Washington in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 30, but he’s widely expected to leave Penn State after three seasons.
A junior from Coplay, Pa., Barkley ran for 1,134 yards, had 594 receiving yards and was responsible for 22 total touchdowns and dozens of memorable highlights in the 2017 season. He finished fourth in last week’s Heisman Trophy voting and has received multiple All-American honors.