Indianapolis Colts Round One Draft Prospects: Saquon Barkley

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Running back Saquon Barkley /

This series will talk about possible first round draft selections for the Colts, and whether or not they would fit with the team. First up: Saquon Barkley.

The Colts have a big decision to make in late April. They have the number three pick in the upcoming draft. This pick will help determine the direction in which the organization will go. There are several top prospects that the Colts will choose from, and one prospect who excites Colts fans a lot is Saquon Barkley.

Being an Ohio State alumnus, I have seen Barkley up close and personal several times over his college career. He has fantastic overall skills. He is a great runner, good receiver, and has good vision. Barkley murdered my beloved Buckeyes over the years, including returning the opening kick-off for a touchdown in this years match-up against Ohio State.

The Penn State star has the capability of being an every down back. He has some things to improve on though. He is a serviceable pass blocker, but he will need to improve that at the next level. Barkley also needs to do a better job of fighting through adversity at the line of scrimmage.

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As far as the Colts are concerned, Barkley would be a good fit. The Colts have been looking for a dynamic running back since Edgerrin James left in 2006. He could team up well with Andrew Luck to have a one-two punch in the offense. He is a danger to score every time he touches the ball.

But there are concerns with Barkley. This past year at Penn State, he had some bad games against some bad defenses. He only had 56 yards rushing against IU and 35 yards rushing against Rutgers. The Rutgers game was particularly troubling because he could not break into the second level of the defense. He was constantly getting tackled a yard or two from the line of scrimmage.

That performance underscores a problem with taking Barkley. A particular criticism with Penn State’s offense as a whole is that the offensive line wasn’t good at all, and that’s why Barkley would struggle sometimes. The Colts do not have a good offensive line either. If it is true that he cannot succeed unless he has a good line, the Colts might not be a good destination for him at this stage.

Next: Which Defensive Unit will See the Most Improvement Next Season

If the Colts do decide to take Barkley, they need to shore up the offensive line to maximize the effectiveness of the running back. But Barkley can be an All-Pro caliber running back if the right pieces are put around him.