Cleveland Browns: A Case Against Saquon Barkley
By Joel W. Cade
The Cleveland Browns need a running back after letting Isaiah Crowell leave. Should that running back be Saquon Barkley? Let’s hope not.
The Cleveland Browns need a running back after letting Isaiah Crowell leave. Should that back be Saquon Barkley?
So, it is silly season. Fans and media alike are putting forth their arguments for who the Cleveland Browns should and should not draft in the first round.
One player who has become a fan favorite heading into the draft is Saquon Barkley. There are mock drafts that place him with the Browns No. 1 overall, over a quarterback. Is Barkley worth losing control of the quarterback market in the draft?
The answer to this question often comes in the form of the “value of the running back position”. This argument states that the running back position is not a critical position in the NFL when determining success on the field. Proponents of this case often point to the running back by committee approach that has worked for previous Super Bowl winning teams. They also point out that the NFL has become a passing league, leaving running back as less important than other positions.
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Another camp argues that running backs have a short shelf life in the NFL. They point to how analytics proves that good running backs can be found in later rounds.
Also, they point out that there is a steep decline in running back play after five years or a certain number of carries in the league. The short shelf life of a running back makes it not a prudent choice to pick on early, even if that person is a game changer.
Nobody seems to focus on Saquon Barkley himself or his play on the field when it comes to determining his value. Nobody points to his combine as a place to show where his athleticism may be subpar.
For the sake of having some fun. Let’s throw out all the crap about position value and running back shelf life. Instead, let’s focus on the play of Barkley to make a case against drafting him early.