Saquon Barkley: Want to be part of 'something bigger than yourself'

ByJeff Legwold via ESPN logo
Thursday, March 1, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- Saquon Barkley ran headlong, without any hesitation, into the NFL scouting combine Thursday.

The Penn Staterunning back, who some NFL talent evaluators believe is the top-rated prospect in this year's draft, said he has no cause for concern if any of the NFL's have-nots at the top of the draft board, including the winless Cleveland Browns, select him in April.

On the Browns, who hold the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the opening round and have gone 1-31 over the past two seasons, Barkley said it would be "awesome'' if Cleveland made him one of its picks.

"That's awesome, something bigger than you,'' Barkley said. "You go to a team like that, obviously they've had some rough years, but I think they're a couple pieces away. They do have a lot of young talent, new offensive coordinator. ... You want to be part of something like that, that's something bigger than yourself, that's something you leave a legacy of being part of something special.''

But Barkley has obviously done some homework about the teams at the top of the board. In the span of about 12 minutes, he referenced being a teammate of New York Giantsplayers Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling ShepardandEli Manning;the fact thatIndianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck didn't play last season because of a shoulder injury; and that he was a New York Jets fan growing up.

The Giants, Colts and Jets, respectively, have the second, third and sixth overall picks in April's draft. The only team Barkley didn't reference in the draft's top six was the Denver Broncos, at No. 5.

"But any team, in my mind, that would pick me would be a good fit,'' Barkley said. "... I'm just going to keep my head low and be ready to work."

After meeting with reporters, Barkley posted 29 reps on the bench press.

Barkley rushed for at least 1,076 yards in all three of his seasons at Penn State, including 1,496 yards in 2016 and 1,271 yards last season. He also caught 54 passes in 2017 and closed out his career with back-to-back seasons with 18 rushing touchdowns.

Related Video