Tiki Barber was critical of Saquon Barkley during Tuesday's edition of Tiki and Tierney on CBS Sports Radio. He called out the New York Giants running back for his inability to pass block and said Barkley may not be a three-down back. Now that's a hot take.
Check it out:
Barber said Barkley was a "liability" in pass protection which means he's not worth having on the field on third down. Those are strong words for a guy who was the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
He got very specific:
"He cannot pass protect. It's starting to become glaring. It's probably the only issue he had to deal with coming into the NFL, he wasn't asked to do it at Penn State. You see him diving on the ground, not sticking his head in people's chest. It's going to be a liability, because people see it now. It's on tape and it's going to come out."
Co-host, Brandon Tierney was pretty surprised by what Barber was saying. Maybe he shouldn't have been though, Over the summer Maurice Jones-Drew was also critical of Barkley's work in pass protection, calling it "horrible."
There is little doubt how good Barkley can be when he gets the ball in his hands. While the Giants can't seem to block for him, he's still dangerous when he's given space. On opening night against the Steelers, Barkley rushed the ball 15 times for six yards, but he did manage 60 yards on six receptions, so it's clear New York needs to find ways to open things up for him.
Barber is right that his pass blocking does leave a lot to be desired. Barkley needs to improve, but it's also worth noting he's 23 and has never really had to do it before. He has time to improve, and if he wants to be among the top running backs in the NFL, he'll find a way to do it.