Strengths: An extremely natural runner who will hit the hole quickly and then use his acceleration to run past defenders. A home run threat any time he touches the ball. Extremely fast and agile for someone at his size. Can make people miss in the open field. Can stop on a dime and run full force in another direction with ease. Mismatch in the receiving game can be used in every facet of the game. Creates separation in his routes against linebackers consistently. Great work ethic and shows maturity off the field. Will use cutback lanes to advantage to destroy defenses. Feet are always churning, rarely stops moving his feet. Underrated in pass protection.
Cons: Prefers to go for the big play rather than what’s given to him, resulting in tackles close to the line of scrimmage. Would rather make someone miss than run through someone. Needs to use his strength more consistently. Will sometimes look for an opening on the outside. Has negative yardage plays. Would rather outrun someone than out power them. Has some easy drops.
Overall: When it comes to his running style, it’s extremely similar to that of Barry Sanders. Not to say he will be at that level, but when it comes to playing style it’s eerily similar. Barkley is a running back that will be used immensely with the ever-evolving NFL. Barkley makes huge plays and while there were games at Penn State where he didn’t reach 100 yards, only 7 out of 38 games did he not score a touchdown. He has been consistent throughout his entire collegiate career and is the best athletic running back to come out since Adrian Peterson. Barkley is a top 5 talent easily and could very well become a top 5 running back within the next few years in the NFL. While he isn’t the best natural runner, it’s everything else he brings to the table that makes him a can’t miss prospect.
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