ATLANTA — Saquon Barkley is fiercely competitive.
So after earning recognition as the NFL’s best running back earlier in the day, besting Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott for the honor, the Giants’ sensational running back wasn’t done.
Barkley finished out Saturday in style by beating Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield for the NFL offensive rookie of the year award during NFL Honors at the Fox Theater. Barkley earned 26.5 votes to Mayfield’s 21.5, while Colts offensive guard Quenton Nelson received two.
He is the first Giant to garner that distinction since Odell Beckham Jr. (2014) dating back to 1967. And fitting enough, Beckham presented Barkley the award.
Barkley was named FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year, given to the league’s top running back, despite being up against the previous two winners: Gurley of the Rams and the Cowboys’ Elliott.
Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Barkley ranked second in the league with 1,307 rushing yards and had 91 receptions in 2018, the most by a rookie running back in NFL history.
Barkley has been receiving rave reviews all week here in advance of Super Bowl LIII from a who’s who of present and former NFL greats. He was named Pepsi Rookie of the Year on Thursday.
“If you guys remember the movie Weird Science, you know, where they got to literally build a woman,” Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin said. “I think that, if you were building a running back, it would be Saquon Barkley. He’s like the Weird Science of running backs. He has the speed, the strength, the build, the quickness, the elusiveness – he’s everything you want in a running back.”