Saquon Barkley
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

New York Giants second-year man Saquon Barkley explains why he believes he’s the best running back in the NFL.

Don’t confuse cocky with confident. There’s a big difference between the two. Cocky can be seen as “over-exaggerated confidence,” which surely becomes a problem with a lot of pro athletes.

Not with New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, however. The second-year man doesn’t show a cocky side to himself at all. But he is confident, and he has the skills and accomplishments to back it up.

“You got to believe that you’re one of the best, and that’s what I personally believe,” Barkley said Tuesday night at an NFL Network event in Lincoln Center, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “But I do have tremendous respect for all the guys out there, especially the [Todd] Gurleys and Le’Veon [Bell] and the Zekes [Ezekiel Elliott] of the world, Alvin [Kamara], Christian [McCaffrey] — there’s so many I could list off.”

In his rookie year in 2018, Barkley did it all. He rushed for 1,307 yards for 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 balls for 721 yards and four scores through the air. His 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the league and his 91 receptions broke the single-season record for rookie running backs.

This led to the former Penn State Nittany Lion receiving the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Pepsi Rookie of the Year, the FedEx Ground Player of the Year, as well as Pro Bowl honors.

And although it’s only been a little more than a year since he’s been drafted, Barkley truly believes he’s at the top of the league as far as his position is concerned.

“Why do I think I’m the best back in the league? That’s just how I was raised to believe,” Saquon said. “When I do something and I’m passionate about something I’m going to go 100% at it so when you stick me out there I’m capable of doing anything you want a running back to do and I think I can do it at a high level. That’s why I think I’m the best back in the league. That’s my personal opinion. Everyone can have their other opinions and I respect your opinions.

“You can’t just talk about it, you got to show it. Show it to my teammates that not only am I, I feel, the best running back in the league, I feel like that I can be one of the best teammates for my team and help my team.”

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.