After pegging Saquon Barkley as the Cleveland Browns’ No. 4 selection in his first two mock drafts, ESPN’s Todd McShay has changed his tune a bit after the NFL Combine.
In his third mock draft, released Wednesday morning, McShay has Barkley going No. 2 overall to the New York Giants — and he believes there is a scenario where Barkley could be the top selection.
McShay wrote that “after the Combine this past week, it’s sounding as if” the Browns’ No. 1 pick will come down to Barkley or Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold. As it stands, the analyst went with Darnold.
But what if Cleveland takes care of the quarterback situation in free agency? What if they sign Kirk Cousins, AJ McCarron or Case Keenum?
“Then I think Barkley is the pick here,” McShay added.
That would make Barkley the first running back to go No. 1 overall since Penn State’s Ki-Jana Carter in 1995.
And if he slips to the Giants at No. 2, Barkley would still make some history. The last time a running back was drafted that high was Reggie Bush in 2006.
Should Barkley end up in New York, McShay believes it’s because the Giants would be in a “win now” mode with quarterback Eli Manning.
“Give Manning a running game and a little more pass protection,” McShay wrote, “and Giants fans would argue they are a playoff team.”
Whether he goes to the Browns or Giants, one thing is clear: Penn State fans, tune in early to the NFL draft on April 26. Barkley won’t be sitting around too long.