Adrian Peterson might as well have his measurements taken for his gold jacket today, because the Washington Football Team‘s running back is a shoo-in Hall of Famer the moment he decides to call his luxurious NFL career quits.
Yet, while Peterson has firmly cemented himself among the all-time greats at his position, even he finds himself starstruck at times by the abilities of one of football’s most prominent talents, New York Giants superstar Saquon Barkley.
Peterson has lauded Barkley many times in the past, most notably claiming he has the “ability to be the best back to play the game.” However, on Tuesday night, during Barkley’s reveal as the No. 31 ranked player on NFL Network’s Top-100, Peterson took things a step further.
Peterson Heaps Praise on Barkley, Compares Him to Barry Sanders
The segment which revealed Barkley’s placement on the Top-100 list opened with Peterson being asked by a member of the NFL Network’s team if there was a running back in the league that he thought highly of.
“Yea, Saquon Barkley,” Peterson quickly noted. “The guy really that I have praise for. Just his ability, he’s like a bigger, more physical Barry Sanders.”
The term generational talent has been tossed around on numerous occasions when it comes to Barkley. With that said, claiming his traits stump the man who many consider the greatest to ever do it at the position, is a whole other animal.
Thing is, Barkley is just that, a whole other animal. To say the former NFL Rookie of the Year is a freak of nature is putting it mildly. While the 5-foot-8-inch Sanders left jaws unhinged and ankles broken on a weekly basis due to his shiftiness, Barkley offers a very similar fluidity in his running style, yet in a 6-foot-tall, 230-plus pound frame.
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Barkley on a Similar Career Path to Sanders?
Barkley’s brilliance on the football field has been on full-display since entering the league in 2018. However, he still has quite the journey to go if he hopes to ever hear his career mentioned in the same breath as Sanders’, or Peterson’s for that matter.
Good news for him and Giants fans, he’s off to a solid start.
Barkley was hampered by an ankle injury in 2019 which forced him to miss three games and the majority of a fourth. Still, he topped the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the second time in his two-year pro career.
In return, according to CBS Sports HQ, Barkley became only the second player in NFL history to accumulate at least 20 total TDs and 3,400 scrimmage yards in under 625 touches.
The only other name on that list you may ask? Barry Sanders.