The New York Giants expect to have their most explosive offensive player back for the start of the 2021 NFL regular season. Saquon Barkley is reportedly on track to be ready after tearing his ACL in Week 2 in 2020, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The news broke shortly before the Giants announced that they picked up the fifth-year option on Barkley's rookie contract.
That should be welcome news for Giants fans hoping the team can take a step forward after going 6-10 last season. During his first two seasons in the NFL, Barkley emerged as one of the best running backs in the game. He got off to a tough start in 2021 — as teams loaded the box and forced Daniel Jones to beat them — before tearing his ACL against the Chicago Bears.
With Barkley out, the Giants turned to Devonta Freeman, Wayne Gallman, Dion Lewis and Alfred Morris to carry the load. Gallman lead the team with 682 rushing yards. Jones finished second, racking up 423 rushing yards.
Giants can give Saquon Barkley more support in draft
The Barkley news shouldn't impact how the Giants operate in the 2021 NFL draft, but it should give the team more confidence in a turnaround in 2021. If the team can get Barkley and Jones more help, it's possible the Giants' offense can take a step forward.
While the Giants will probably address their offense at some point in the draft, our own Eric Edholm doesn't see the team going that way in the first round. He projects the team to select cornerback Jaycee Horn with the No. 11 overall pick.
The team can afford to go defense early after signing receiver Kenny Golladay in free agency. While Golladay can't protect Jones' blind side, Golladay's addition should prevent teams from completely stacking the box against Barkley.
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