This is not the sort of thing that would have occurred to them on draft night, but it’s true: Barkley and Darnold will be linked for the rest of their lives. If both go onto great NFL careers, it will be seen as a wonderful night for two rival teams that had suffered through some grim days.
But if one succeeds and one doesn’t?
That will shape the narrative of what happened here in Dallas. The Giants and the Jets haven’t had a draft night like this in a quarter century, and they are staking their future that they’ve found the player who can elevate their franchise to a Super Bowl.
They were among the first to congratulate each other on Thursday night. Barkley was taking a photo with his family backstage at the draft as Darnold, fresh off his bro hug with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, was walking down the same hallway.
Barkley rushed for over 190 yards five times, had seven games with over 200 yards from scrimmage, and eclipsed 300 rushing and receiving yards against Iowa last season.
It’s no surprise that as Barkley was compiling yards and touchdowns, opposing defenses sold out to stop him, which forced Moorhead to get creative and move Barkley around in the formation either in the slot or wide receiver stacks pre-snap to disguise how he would utilize the 6-foot, 235 pound back and create mismatches.
The challenge was to get Saquon touches, Moorhead said. I know a lot of people were caught up in the number of carries and that he only had over 20 carries in a few games… But, when defensive coordinators sole focus was taking him out of the game and get the ball out of his hands in the running game, we had to find more ways to get him the ball out in open space. One of those ways was a receiver, either out of the backfield or in the slot. His productivity level was through the roof in both of those phases. I think that certainly translates to the next level.
There were several instances over the last two seasons when Moorhead used opposing defenses over-aggressiveness to stop Barkley against them be employing him as a Cheap NFL Jerseys USA decoy in Best Site For Cheap Jerseys run-pass options astutely sold by mobile quarterback Trace McSorely.