New York Giants: Expect a better sophomore season from Saquon Barkley

New York Giants. Saquon Barkley (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
New York Giants. Saquon Barkley (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

It’s hard to imagine topping a record-breaking rookie of the year season, but New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley seems to poised to show that he was just scratching the surface last season.

It’s not often that a player entering just his second year in the NFL is expected to carry an entire team. For the New York Giants, it’s their offensive game plan. They will build around superstar running back Saquon Barkley‘s outstanding rookie season.

The Giants’ decision to pass on a quarterback and take Barkley with the number two pick in the 2018 draft has clearly paid off. The former Penn State Nittany Lion shattered all types of rookie records in his first season and took home the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

The Giants stunned the league back in March by trading the player their offense was previously based around, Odell Beckham Jr. There seemed to be an underlying tension between the Giants front office and OBJ, but it’s still hard to believe the team gave him a massive contract before the 2018 season just to dump him before the 2019 one even begins.

The trade signified the unofficial passing of the team from Beckham to Barkley. It happened much quicker than many expected. Barkley has so far shown the maturity to handle the situation with ease.

With Beckham gone, it’s likely that Barkley will now get many of the receiver’s touches. We saw Eli Manning dump passes off all season to Barkley who broke the rookie running back record for receptions with 91. It will be hard to imagine the ball not being in Barkley’s hands at least 25-30 times per game.

In light of the recent news that Big Blue lost their three top receivers, expect Barkley to play an even more integral part of the Giants’ offense. Just days after starting camp, the Giants received devastating news about Corey Coleman who will be out for the season due tearing a knee ligament, Sterling Shepard fractured his thumb and will miss most if not all of camp. Finally, newly-signed Golden Tate is facing a four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.