New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley has nothing but love for Philadelphia Eagles new running back, Miles Sanders.
Two years ago, the Penn State backfield was loaded up with two guys who would eventually become high-priority picks in the NFL. While the nation knew exactly who Saquon Barkley was, not too many football fans were familiar with his successor, Miles Sanders. Since Barkley’s short NCAA stint was purely dominant, it took Sanders some time to emerge as a big name.
However, once Sanders got his opportunity, he evidently took advantage. No thanks to Barkley, Sanders had to sit back and wait for his starting opportunity with the Nittany Lions. During his first two seasons, the young running back totaled for only 375 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Finally, after Barkley joined the New York Giants via the NFL Draft, Sanders took over.
In year three, Sanders managed to churn out 1,274 rushing yards, which counted to his total of 1,413 scrimmage yards. Although his on-field production didn’t quite make him viewed as a second-round pick right out of the gate, his impressive Pro Day in Happy Valley had teams quite interested. And one of those teams happened to be the Philadelphia Eagles. Sanders didn’t know for sure, but according to Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley, the soon-to-be Eagles’ back discussed the potential friendly rivalry far before Philly gave Sanders the official call.
Barkley and Sanders are excited to battle twice a year
Happy for his former teammate, Barkley now has to turn that smile into a competitive grin twice a year from here on out. Being that both former Penn Staters are officially battling in the NFC East, they are in competition with each other once again. And although Barkley has been the clear-cut better back over Sanders up until this point, he refuses to take away from his former backups moment. As he discussed the future battles, Barkley called Sanders the ‘best back in the draft.’
This year, the NFL Draft didn’t seem too loaded up with elite backfield talent – hence the reason why only one player at the position was selected within the first round. It might not have been Sanders, but there have been a handful of analysts and power rankings that believe maybe it should’ve been Sanders. That’s not a knock on Raiders’ running back, Josh Jacobs. But Sanders could really be a nice value pick at 53. After all, the Eagles did say they believe if he had one more season in college, he would probably be a first-rounder in 2020.