Cleveland Browns: Top 5 running back targets in the 2018 NFL Draft

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Running back Saquon Barkley
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Running back Saquon Barkley /
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1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Let’s be honest with ourselves for a second. This list was all about numbers five through two. Saquon Barkley is the number one running back in this class, maybe even the number one prospect in the class. Here’s why.

Barkley’s speed is his greatest asset, but it is far from his only one. Barkley has a mix of power, speed, and size that is incredible for any running back. His physical tools are second to none, and he is a pleasure to watch on the field.

Barkley is explosive coming out of the hole, as well as in the open field. He can jump out of the gym, will likely run a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine in March, and has the statistics to prove his dominance.

In 2017, he averaged nearly 6.0 yards per carry, and rushed for 1,271 yards. He collected 18 rushing touchdowns, but Barkley’s receiving game was the highlight of the season.

With 54 receptions and 632 yards on the year, Barkley showed that he can catch the ball out of the backfield and in the slot, and do it on a consistent basis. He scored three receiving touchdowns on the year, and just had a great season in total.

As far as skill position players go, Barkley is the top of the class. He is (albeit slightly) in the conversation to be the number one pick in the draft, and he will almost certainly go in the top five. There is not much to say about Barkley which has not already been said by others.

Next: Butler or Johnson in Free Agency?

As April’s NFL Draft draws ever closer, scouts will likely pick apart Barkley and try to find all of his flaws, however slight they may be. But, rest assured, he would work wonders for the Cleveland Browns offense in 2018.