“He Is Going To Translate Beautifully In The NFL”

April 19th, 2018

Running back love.

It seems Louis Riddick has a mancrush.

The former director of player personnel director for the Eagles and Redskins cannot contain his excitement. And that’s when he watches tape of Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

In a recent edition of NFL Matchup, one of the few things BSPN does right (though it is produced by NFL Films), Riddick broke down the tape of the stud running back expected to be one of the first picks in the draft next week.

Riddick all but drooled talking about Barkley the way Joe talks about Rachel Watson.

In short, Riddick says Barkley has no weakness.

“What he is right now is he is a three-down player who is proficient running the football and catching the football out of the backfield,” Riddick said. “And he will pass protect so there is really nothing he can’t do.

“You would never want to take him off the football field. You can put him in the backfield or split him out in the perimeter and he is a weapon there. So you tell me how he fits. He does it all.”

Riddick then dispelled one myth about Barkley, showing him juke and jump-cut an Iowa linebacker behind the line of scrimmage for a massive run.

“He has instincts and the athletic ability to capitalize on those instincts,” Riddick said.

As for his acceleration or zero-to-60 speed, Riddick crowed.

“This kid can hit the gas like nobody’s business,” Riddick said. “And when he gets the pads down at 232 pounds, that’s going to be an all-day affair as far trying to get him on the ground.

“He is going to translate beautifully in the NFL.”

Joe used to be dead-set against drafting a running back high and bought into the urban legend that running backs selected later in the draft are just as good. Certainly in the post-Chucky era with the Bucs, that cannot be further from the truth.

A year or two ago, Joe began to see the light. If a running back is the final piece of the puzzle for your offense, you go get him.

Barkley is just such a missing piece of the puzzle for the Bucs.

35 Responses to ““He Is Going To Translate Beautifully In The NFL””

  1. Bird Says:

    It would be amazing. To get the best of the best at a position of dire need.

    However. Sounds like Giants may have him locked down

  2. BucFanFromOH Says:

    “If a running back is the final piece of the puzzle for your offense, you go get him. Barkley is just such a missing piece of the puzzle for the Bucs.”

    A missing piece to the puzzle yes, but not the FINAL piece to the puzzle. We have way too many other holes on both sides of the ball.

  3. JonBuc Says:

    The “feel good” season finale “win” took Tampa outta the Saquon Barkley Sweepstakes…there’s no way both Denver & Indy would pass on him ( let alone the Browns twice )…

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Let’s see. Defense is hurting. OLine is hurting. RB is hurting. Licht’s on the clock at #7 … 15 minutes to decide what to do. Which button does he push? RB? Guard or Tackle? CB/DE/DT? Something else? (Trade-down, SS)? Lots of guessing, but reality is even Jason doesn’t know at this point. Right now he & his brain trust are merely lining up the options. And even when it comes time to pull the trigger, his gut may tell him something totally different (hey, he IS a gambler as we’ve all seen). Hang on Bucs fans.

  5. Lunchbox Says:

    I agree if he was there at 7, you get him-but he won’t be. Gettleman will probably get him. I think Guice could be every bit as successful in this league. Would Barkley be awesome in pewter? Of course. But there are plenty of options this year at RB. we could get Nelson/Penny, or Guice/Wynn. Many potentially good scenarios there.

  6. Mort Says:

    His dancing behind the LoS didn’t always work in college. Highlights definitely don’t tell the whole story. It’ll work even less in the NFL. He needs to be more decisive and just go instead of dancing so much.

  7. darin Says:

    No way to tell who wants who. Happens every year. Theres only a few people in the building who know their first choice. Im sure noones said a word. Also sure theyve had people leaking some false info. Giants may trade the pick too. Every year a team, or more, makes a big surprise and shakes up all the mocks and rumors.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bird Says
    “However. Sounds like Giants may have him locked down”

    Bet the giants have other plans…like maybe QB.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Barkley will be a bust.

  10. Joeypoppems Says:

    Saying Barkley will be a bust is a bit strong. Unless by bust you mean not living up to this “generational player” hype, then I would agree with you.

  11. doctor_berto Says:

    Trent Richardson 2.0

  12. Kobe Faker Says:

    Guice > Barkley

    Barkley is going to slide down

    GMs know the runningback position is not worth top 5

    Barkley will be available at number 7 when Bucs are drafting…

    trade down

    “All i see is a mark ingram clone”

    Kobe Faker

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    pass on barkley…..guice is the one you want…..pair him with barber and scarbrough late and we have a nasty down hill rushing attack….IF dirk decides to ground and pound……but you cant teach an old dog new tricks…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  14. Buc50 Says:

    If he’s available at 7, we better sprint to the podium.

  15. BridleOaksBuc Says:

    It’s been a while since there’s been a Rachel Watson sighting…Looking good! More Rachel…less Peter King!!

  16. Wausa Says:

    I really like Saquan Barkley and if he is there at 7 the Bucs should obviously take him, but I also think there are going to be some great backs available in the 2nd(Jones, Chubb and Penny). Even when the Bucs pick at the top of the 2nd there should be some potentially good backs such as Royce Freeman from Oregon and Walton from Miami).

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Mark Ingram clone”??!!

    Kobe, what the heck are you smoking this morning?!

  18. El_Buc941 Says:

    Joe don’t forget Riddick also labeled Guice as the #2 back in this draft. Personally I say we wait at 7 for the bills to make an offer(12 & 22)and we pounce on Guice at 12 and Will Hernandez at 22.no need to shoot ourselves in the foot for a guy we have 0% chance of landing.

  19. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Sorry guys…but if Gil Brandt says Barkley is the best prospect to come out since Barry Sanders…the best RB prospect in DECADES…I have to laugh at guys saying he will be a bust. Forgive me if I believe Brandt over our posters.

    Riddick is just one of a huge contingent of “experts” who claim Barkley is the real deal. His metrics are freakish!!! I like Guice but compared to Barkley he is slow…and yet he’s faster than Michel and Chubb and the other backs being considered.

    Barkley has the potential to literally be a game changer…I simply do not see this in any of the other backs available. I really like Guice and if it wasn’t for Barkley I think he would be viewed like his former teammate Fournette. Guice is very very good…Barkley is GREAT!

  20. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Joe says:

    “Barkley is just such a missing piece of the puzzle for the Bucs.”

    You said IT @Joe! Like THIS Bucs fan has been fervently preaching now for awhile. Louis Riddick is a pretty stout player evaluator, like his takes.

    AND, well said @StPeteBucsFan….in your conclusions, you often arrive at the sound one!

    I’m sure two of my biggest fans (JeffBuc and Poppems)must have their blood boiling to a nice degree over this article. 🙂

    Go Bucs! Go Bold! Go Barkley! Go Primetime!

  21. unbelievable Says:

    He’s the final piece of the puzzle?

    So I guess we’re just gonna play with 3 offensive lineman? Cuz from where I’m standing, we are missing a starting RT and OG.

    Seems like those puzzle pieces might be important if you want to have any success running or passing the football. But wtfdik?

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Big Need and Huge Talent could very well blend perfectly at #7 for the Buccaneers in 2018.

    There’s actually 2 players having the “generational talent” label thrown at them that we have a legitimate shot of drafting. Not a “good” chance but a legitimate chance nonetheless. Both play positions of real need for this team.

    Odds of either Barkley or Nelson falling to the Bucs at #7 are approaching 50/50 as D Day draws near and GMs start naturally pondering the possible negative repercussions of drafting a RB or an OG with a top 5 pick.

    QBs are at a premium this year with 4 likely to be drafted Top 10 and a # of QB needy teams having the ammo required to trade up and take a chance on landing a franchise QB.

    This is going to be one hell of an interesting draft for Bucs fans watching those 1st 6 picks unfold. And then waiting to see what kind of magic Jason Licht can make wheeling and dealing for the benefit of this team with only 10 minutes on the clock…

    I’m excited about this draft! Bucs are in a great position to get 2 really good players if we stay put at #7 and #38. Also in a more favorable than usual position to trade down and fill multiple needs.

    Its gonna be a lot of fun watching the 1st hour of this draft go down and with each pick trying to anticipate what that means for the Bucs…

  23. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    INDEED @Pickgrin….Indeed!

    Go Bucs!

  24. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bucs could have probably had him or Chubb IF..they had only swallowed their foolish pride and tanked. The San Antonio Spurs tanked once upon a time. And got Tim Duncan and 20 yrs of winning and happiness!!

  25. Jeffbuc Says:

    Betterbuckenbelieve I would love have to have Barkley. I agree with you there. But only if he is there at 7. I am not for trading picks and players for him. Just because a so called expert thinks he will be great doesn’t mean he will. Go google Trent Richardson draft profile. They say he is the best back since Adrain Peterson. And actually is a safer pick than Peterson. He has it all speed power vision. He is a sure fire can’t miss top 5 pick. How do we know Barkley won’t be a bust like him. We don’t that’s why you don’t trade picks for him. So I hope he falls to us at 7 and he turns out to be a superstar.

  26. cgmaster Says:

    No weaknesses? I beg to differ, him running between the tackles is in fact a weakness. Stats don’t lie.

  27. Joeypoppems Says:


    Its really that simple. He bounces a lot of his runs to the outside and his athleticism let him get away with it against college defenses.

    Will he be able to get away with that against NFL defenders who are also great athletes? Thats a big question that nobody seems to be asking.

    Dont see why people have such a hard time understanding this.

  28. gotbbucs Says:

    I would like to have him but I’m scared of him at the same time. The measurables are all there, there’s no doubting that, but the lack of major production for him coming out of the Big Ten is troubling for me.

    Why didn’t he run all over lesser teams? Why did they only give him 15 carries a game?
    I think there is little chance that he busts, but I still don’t like having these concerns.
    The good thing is, we won’t have to worry about it because he won’t be on the board at 7.

  29. Kobe Faker Says:

    I dont see the explosive attack during the first contact…he is always running away from contact…

    Works in college but in the pros you need to explode thru the arm tacles north and south and then bounce to daylight

    I see guice and sony michal with the best skillsets for the pro game. I see these 2 that can see a crack in the opening and breakout for 70 yarders

    I do see another mark ingram. Solid runner that cant find or breakout to the 2nd level

  30. Duke Says:


    I have a question, who was the best RB in college last season?
    Now two seasons ago?

    I have to think that the best back in years should have been acknowledged as the best back in college football at least one season. Yet amazingly He was not.

    I don’t see how this kid could be a bust, unlike other folks, too talented at too many spots to even entertain that silliness.

    His stats are below the RD 1 avg, and some are below the NCAA D 1 avg.
    Again, greatness in college isn’t always going to transfer to the next level. So
    how is below avg going to be great outta the gate at the next level.

  31. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    “Stats don’t lie.”

    Surely you’ve heard of Benjamin Disraeli’s famous pronouncement popularized in our country by Mark Twain…

    “There are three kinds of lies. Lies…damn lies…and statistics.”

    There is so much that goes into stats that includes how the player is used.
    If you look at Barkley’s you’ll see he not only rushed for 1271 yards he caught 54 passes for 632 yards and an 11.7 average!

    For some perspective here…What I just posted above is for ONE season.

    By comparison…Darius Guice for THREE SEASONS…32 catches 250 yards.

    In short…Barkley was not only a feature back…he was a featured receiver.

    All those experts from above I mentioned think he runs with power. He’s 5-11 230 lbs…he’s a large powerful man! He’ll do fine. It’s one thing to run over people it’s another to run around them. I saw several of Bo Jackson’s Auburn games from the sideline. He never went looking for contact and would avoid it if possible since if he ran around them he could perhaps take it to the house. But it he had to Bo could run over dudes as well. Barkley is similar.

  32. NFLNut Says:


    Saquon is a PERFECT PROSPECT … great rushing and receiving production, coupled with elite measurements, skills and athleticism, a very good pass-blocker and an A+ person with no red flags at all … PERFECT PROSPECT.

    And, I honestly think we’ll be able to draft him at #7 … if I was forced to make specific mock draft picks right now, I’d say:

    Browns: Josh Allen
    Giants: Sam Darnold
    Jets: Baker Mayfield
    Bills (trade with Browns): Josh Rosen
    Broncos: Bradley Chubb
    Colts: Quenton Nelson
    Buccaneers: Saquon Barkley


  33. Duke Says:


    Excellent point and I might add the first insightful comment about how Bark was utilized. You’re right and on point, Bark was a receiver and return , kicks and punts, guy who also played RB. This is precisely why I think it’s foolish to think this will bust. Yeah he is a game changing home run threat . And not just a RB.

    My point has been and still is, if you draft him it’s on the coaches to utilize him creatively. If the idea is to be a ground and pound 3 down 3-4 avg per carry..
    It will be a crime…… I honestly don’t believe that the current coaches we have are that creative or experimental to get the most from his skill set.

  34. Duke Says:


    Great production is the key. If it’s rushing, receiving or returns he produces.
    If it’s strictly rushing……sorry but that’s not great. No way to get around it.
    StPete mentioned this key point that has been missing in most comments.

    The offensive scheme at Penn state didn’t revolve around bark at RB. So it’s hard to call his Rushing yards great if you are a traditional run first fan. Frankly, he’s the antithesis of conservative power running game backs. Which is precisely why I love the guy. Modern day back…….

  35. Buxfan Says:

    Anyone think that the RB is a top priority, didn’t watch the Bucs. The RB position is a want, not a need. The OG and CB are top needs for this team. Even though they’re happy with Vernon Hargreaves, Sweezy(RG) and Benenoch(RG) to start the season. Those the positions that have the biggest question marks. Sweezy and Dotson health cercerns. Benenoch could be the starting RG or RT to start the season. And for the RB position. The Bucs maybe 90% behind Peyton Barber. His pass blocking sucks. But when he got the opportunity to start this last 5 games. He rushed 78 times for 335 avg 4.3. And the more he played, the better he became.