Saquon Barkley New York Giants
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

New York Giants’ rookies Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez were named top 20 newcomers by Pro Football Focus.

The New York Giants draft class has been praised about as much as it can be before they even play an NFL game. The most recent to praise the class is Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus (PFF), who ranks Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez as two of the top 20 players on new teams in the NFL.

The two draft picks are two of the nine rookies that Gayle placed on the list, and the Giants are the only team with two rookies on the list. Additionally, the Miami Dolphins were the only other team to have two players on the list.

Barkley was drafted second overall after an amazing three-year career at Penn State. He recorded 3,843 yards (5.7 per carry) rushing, and 1,195 receiving yards (11.5 per reception) amounting to a total of 5,038 yards from scrimmage, with 51 touchdowns total over those three seasons.

Barkley is the highest-rated rookie in Madden ’19, and showed his work ethic with an impressive uphill weight carry. He was graded by PFF at 89.9 during his final season in college. The Giants hope that he, along with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., can lead the offense back to a top unit in the league.

Hernandez is a big guard who was drafted in the second round out of the University of Texas at El Paso. The 330-lb. guard is known for his fire and his competitive nature on the field, having already clashed with Damon Harrison.

Being a guard means that run-blocking is the main part of the big man’s job, and he stepped up during his senior year, picking up a PFF grade of 86.1. He also showed good pass-blocking ability, being graded at 91.0 in that facet, which will be important with an aging Eli Manning taking the snaps. Overall, Hernandez was graded at 90.3 for his senior year.

If Barkley and Hernandez can show up the way PFF predicts they will, it will go a long way in improving an anemic offense.


  1. An aging Eli Manning taking the snaps???????
    Eli has never been known for foot speed, However, he is still able to side-step a pass rush (when it is not in his face).
    Hernandez will certainly help. But I don’t think that it is just Eli who will benefit.

    Moreover, my point being: would’ve Tom Brady been successful QB-ing the Giants ragtag unit last year?

    • I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by that statement, so let me clarify it a little bit. I wasn’t trying to take a shot at Manning, and I completely agree with you that with a better offensive line he’ll be better. My point was that it’s not ideal to have your quarterback under pressure every snap like he was last year. Hernandez will help prevent that.

      As for the aging part, he’s 37. He’s old for an NFL player. I think he has something left, but you also need to call a spade a spade. Last year, Manning was the fifth oldest quarterback to throw a pass in an NFL game (Brady, Brees, Palmer, and McCown were the only ones older to do that.) I think aging is a perfectly fair description for Manning.