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We’ve managed to get to the purpose within the calendar the place the NFL Draft is little greater than per week away. However because it will get nearer and the narratives across the prime gamers within the draft sharpen into focus, some counter-narratives are sure to pop up.

Take away the gaggle of quarterback prospects that dominate the highest of the primary spherical and the questions are all about Saquon Barkley. The Penn State standout working again is sort of presumably essentially the most proficient runner within the draft in years, but there are questions. Ought to a working again be taken first general? The place does he need to go, anyway?

Ben Baskin wrote a function about Barkley for Sports activities Illustrated that was an interesting exploration of Barkley’s run-up to the draft and the way he’s deeply concerned in his branding. Barkley signed with Roc Nation and the group has a 15-person staff round him, working tirelessly to make him the brand new face of the NFL.
The place Barkley will get drafted might actually affect that standing, however whereas the piece claims Roc Nation needs him to keep away from Cleveland (one thing they’ve denied), Barkley looks as if he’d be pleased to observe LeBron James’ path by saving a Lake Erie franchise if he’s drafted by the Browns. Baskin wrote that there have been some concern concerning the Browns ruining Barkley’s profession earlier than it begins.

His Roc Nation handlers, nonetheless, don’t need him to be taken No. 1. They don’t need him in Cleveland. They need him to go second to the Giants and play within the media capital of the world. That’s the place you’ll be able to develop into the Face of the League. His supervisor even implored him to drag an Eli Manning and demand that the Browns not draft him. Barkley by no means thought-about the choice. Certain, he likes the thought of being again within the metropolis of his delivery—even enjoying for the Jets, the staff he grew up rooting for. And naturally he’s heard numerous individuals inform him that if he leads to Cleveland, his profession will probably be ruined.

Barkley, to his credit score, says he’s not anxious about that. Which, if you examine all of the issues he truly is anxious about, does appear comforting.

He’s pleased to take that danger, although. For the previous few weeks he has informed shut associates a couple of imaginative and prescient he has. He believes that if he brings a championship to the Land, as LeBron did, he’ll be hailed as the very best athlete of his era and have a statue in-built his honor.

Now wouldn’t that be good for the model?

Whoever finally ends up drafting Barkley is getting a world of potential, however anticipating him to “pull an Eli Manning” appears a bit unrealistic at this level. His objectives appear a lot larger than worrying a single staff can wreck him.

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