Saquon. Saquon. Saquon. Then, Saquon. Unfortunately for Penn State running back prospect Miles Sanders, all 3 years in Happy Valley were spent in Saquon Barkley’s shadow. How are you like Saquon? How is you game similar/different to Saquon? I mean if you watch interviews with Miles that was virtually every other question. I feel for him, I really do. 2018 was his time to shine in the Big Ten, with Barkley a New York Giant, and shine he did, finishing second in the conference with 1,274 yards rushing. Watching film of Sanders, you can see some similarities in his game to Saquon, with great lateral movements, patience, power and breakaway speed.
When past the line of scrimmage, I love how he takes on defenders one-on-one, either using his uncanny slipperiness or hurdling ability to make defenders miss or look foolish. Unfortunately, from a PPR aspect, Sanders doesn’t add a significant amount in the receiving game, catching only 32 balls for 193 yards (6.0 avg) and 1 touchdown in 3 seasons combined. It’s not that he can’t do it, he just hasn’t, so we need to see where his landing spot is based on how big of a priority that is in the offense of the team drafting him.
Well, without Miles’ permission, I guess we can make the comparison to Barkley. I’m sure he would love it (all height/weight official NFL combine stats).
Sanders: 5’11” 211 LBS, 40 yard dash 4.49, Bench press 20 reps, Vertical jump 36.0”, Broad Jump 124.0” 3 cone drill 6.89, 20 yard shuttle 4.19
Career: 276 Rush Att, 1,649 yards, 12 touchdowns, 32 Rec, 193 yards, 1 touchdown, 33 kick returns, 764 yards 1 touchdown.
Barkley: 6’0”, 233 LBS, 40 yard dash 4.4 (unofficial), Bench press 29 reps, Vertical jump 41.0”, Broad Jump N/A, 3 cone drill N/A, 20 yard shuttle 4.24
Career: 671 Rush Att, 3,843 yards, 43 touchdowns, 102 Rec, 1,195 yards, 8 touchdowns, 18 kick returns, 500 yards 2 touchdowns
As we can see, Saquon is physically and statistically the better back, in every aspect of the game. That shouldn’t diminish Sanders’ ability, however, as had he decided to transfer he certainly would have been a star running back for multiple seasons. His value will be determined by landing spot. If, for example, the New York Jets do not sign Le’veon Bell and rely on Elijah McGuire for a year or so, I can see them grabbing him in the 4th round (pick 106). It really is the perfect landing spot for him, and coupled with McGuire could form a great 1-2 punch. If not New York, let’s stay in the division and go to Buffalo, where Shady McCoy is almost certainly gone and Chris Ivory will be 31 when the season starts. Watch Miles on draft weekend to see where he falls and get ready to stash him on your Taxi Squad.
Questions? Comments? Hit me up on Twitter @TheMbower85