Penn State running back Saquon Barkley runs a drill during...

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley runs a drill during the NFL Combine on March 2 in Indianapolis. Credit: AP / Darron Cummings

Dave Gettleman has been scouting and evaluating NFL players for more than three decades, but he drew a blank when asked a very simple question:

Who does Saquon Barkley remind you of?

“You guys are going to have to call Ernie [Accorsi],” Gettleman said Thursday, ceding the comp job to one of the few people (unofficially) associated with the organization with more years of personnel experience than he has. “I can’t give you a name. I wish I could. Call Ernesto, that’s what you’ve got to do.”


But it turns out that Accorsi, Gettleman’s mentor and a former Giants general manager, also had trouble coming up with a comparison.

“He doesn’t really remind me of any specific back,” Accorsi told Newsday on Friday morning. “I don’t know that in the recent past I’ve seen anyone with that size and power that has his second gear of sprinter’s speed and quickness. A very rare combination.”

Gettleman had the same takeaway.

“The thing that makes him different is he has the feet and speed of a little guy, with the power and strength of a big guy,” he said. “That’s what makes him so darn unique. He’s different.”

And for two guys who have seen just about every football player in the past 50 years, literally incomparable.

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