Is Saquon Barkley the next Adrian Peterson? – Giants Wire

The average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years, so when players sign contracts longer than three years, they are bucking the trend. That stat means most rookies entering the league on standard four-year contracts never see the end of those deals.

So, when you see veterans playing deep into their second contracts, they are actually outliers. One player, running back Adrian Peterson, now with Washington, is heading into his 14th season in the league. Hes really an outlier.

The average career expectancy for an NFL running back is 2.57 years, the lowest of any position in the NFL. Kickers lead the way (4.87 years) followed by quarterbacks (4.44), cornerbacks (2.94) and wide receivers (2.81).

Peterson is essentially a freak, which is something New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been called in his two seasons in the NFL. Some believe Barkley will have a long career in the league based on his magnificent physique and the drive to keep himself in top shape.

The guy is built. You look at his stature and how strong he is as a runner, former New England Patriots linebacker and current ESPN analyst Rob Ninkovich said recently. I think he has the potential to play a very long time based on look, just the way he plays, the style of play he has. You look around the league at some of these other really good running backs; they might not have the frame, might not have the build that Barkley has. Im going with him. I think hes got a bright future. I know last year he had the ankle injury, but look, its football. Things happen. He came back from that and Im anticipating a very big year for him this year.

Barkley is listed at 6 feet tall (but has also been listed at 5-foot-11 in some places) and weighs in at 234 pounds. That is a lot of compact power for a ball carrier with his shiftiness, speed and versatility.

By contrast, Peterson is 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds. Tennessees Derrick Henry, the leagues rushing leader last season who is considered the ultimate running back specimen in todays NFL, is 247 pounds. But he has nearly four inches on Barkley at 6-foot-3.

Barkleys durability came into question last season when he suffered a high ankle sprain in the Giants Week 3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He missed a month of the season and then wasnt the same player until very late in the season. He didnt have another 100-yard rushing game until Week 14.

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick believes Barkleys career can exceed Petersons if he can stay healthy. Thats always the big if. Keep in mind Peterson who is a surefire Hall of Famer has 14,216 rushing yards, which is fifth on the all-time list, but he only eclipsed 2,000 total yards from scrimmage once in his career. Barkley did that in his first season in the NFL.

Everyone knows how I feel about Saquon Barkley, Riddick said. I think because hes the bigger player, he is the one I would probably pick and hes probably overall the more explosive athlete. Hes the guy who, despite being that size, is someone who isnt to talk about Bruce Lee, he isnt that guy. Hes not the stiff, tree-like figure. Hes one of those guys who does have tremendous physical dexterity and flexibility for a guy whos 228, 230 pounds and runs a low 4.3.

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Is Saquon Barkley the next Adrian Peterson? - Giants Wire

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