Sanders: “Giants Should Draft Offensive Linemen In Every Round”

Saquon Barkley might be the most talented running back in football, but Barry Sanders believes he needs more help in the trenches

Zach Gelb
January 30, 2020 - 9:31 am
Saquon Barkley Giants

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Saquon Barkley might be the most talented running back in the NFL, but he didn’t look like it in his second season with the New York Giants. One could argue that injuries played a role in that, as did transitioning to a rookie quarterback.

But the offensive line didn’t do Barkley any favors.

“The Giants should draft offensive linemen in every round of the draft,” Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders said on The Zach Gelb Show. “Every round of the draft.”

Barkley rushed 217 times for 1,003 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns in 13 games this season. That’s not bad at all. But there were certainly some clunkers along the way – like his 13-carry, one-yard performance against the Jets in November.

Which, again, is why Sanders believes the Giants need to upgrade their offensive line.

“Hey, man, I think you got to put some good pieces around that kid – the quarterback as well as Saquon,” Sanders said. “You’ve already seen what he’s able to do, so it would be scary to see him with the type of offensive line around him that could really protect him and the quarterback. I think the sky would be the limit.”

Sanders likes that a lot of NFL teams have returned to a ground-and-pound philosophy. Fifteen running backs rushed for over 1,000 yards this season, and many of them were on playoff teams.

“You saw what Derrick Henry did and the way that he dominated the running game and his team dominated in the playoffs,” Sanders said. “And other playoff teams, obviously the Niners are playing in the Super Bowl. Those backs had almost 2,000 yards between the three of them. The Vikings are a very run-oriented team. You look at what Mark Ingram was able to do with the Ravens and obviously Lamar Jackson running the ball as a quarterback. But the point is, not everyone has that historically great quarterback. Even Aaron Rodgers has a decent running game now.”