Barkley delivered his opinion Saquon-style on Tuesday night — calmly, respectfully and with as much humility as possible, given the message — but deliver it he did, in response to a question from Terrell Davis.
Davis and fellow Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson had been talking about the best backs in the NFL during a panel discussion at an NFL Network event in Manhattan to promote the league’s 100th season.
The Giants’ second-year man promptly responded, “Personally, I’m going to say myself.”
Davis, who like Tomlinson had named Todd Gurley No. 1 but with Barkley closing fast, said, “You have to think that . . . If you don’t believe you’re the best in the game, you don’t need to be playing this game.”
Speaking to reporters later, Barkley was asked whether the question had put him in an uncomfortable spot, or whether he thought it was an easy one.
Said Davis: “Saquon is certainly somebody who if you were building a team right now, who would be your first back taken, it would probably be this man sitting to my left.”
Barkley is a student of running backs history, with Sanders No. 1 on his favorites list, which made sharing a panel with the three Hall of Famers a heady experience.
Barkley was not offended that some of his running back heroes did not name him No. 1 — yet. He appreciated it. But when asked why he thinks he is the best he did not hesitate.