The player who first inspired Saquon Barkley to be an NFL running back believes that the rookie will make an immediate impact on the league and the Giants.
“I think he’ll be a really good fit,” Hall of Famer Curtis Martin said on Tuesday at the BTIG Charity Day in Manhattan. “If I were the Giants, that’s probably the pick that I would have made. I think he’ll be a great addition to the team. I think he’s a unique weapon for Eli to have because he’s as good a receiver as he is a running back as you’re going to get coming out of the backfield, and he’s one if the best runners I’ve seen.”
Barkley grew up in the Bronx watching Martin carry the ball for the Jets. Now Martin will be watching him.
“He has more ability — I don’t know how it will all translate, the talent and production of the field — but as far as a running back it’s hard to find one with more than what he has,” Martin said.
There are plenty of ways that Barkley can emulate Martin. Martin said effort is the most important of those.
“Stay humble,” he said of his advice for Barkley. “Make sure you give your all every day you are out there on the playing field because what I found is that the fans respect that. You may make mistakes, but as long as you are trying your all and giving it your best, the New York fans will love you.”