Barkley selected no. 2 in NFL draft

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) was selected with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Giants Thursday night in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is the 14th Penn State player to be drafted by the New York Giants and joins former Nittany Lion Kyle Carter on the Giants roster.

A total of 345 Nittany Lions have been selected all-time in the NFL Draft, which ranks seventh among Division I institutions, including 37 in the first round. Of the 14 Penn Staters getting chosen by the New York Giants, Barkley is the first Nittany Lion the Giants have chosen in the first round.

As the No. 2 pick, Barkley becomes Penn State's fifth top-2 pick, joining Ki-Jana CarterCourtney BrownLaVar Arrington (2000) and Blair Thomas (1990). He is the 34th Nittany Lion running back selected all-time with 11 of those ball carriers going in the first round. The 11 first-round running backs are tied for the most of any NCAA program with Ohio State.

Barkley is the first Nittany Lion to go in the first round since Jared Odrick was selected with the 28th overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2010 NFL Draft and the first Penn State running back selected in the NFL Draft since Evan Royster went to the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2011 event.

Barkley joins John Cappelletti (1974), Carter (1995), D.J. Dozier (1987), Curtis Enis (1998), Franco Harris (1972), Larry Johnson (2003), Booker Moore (1981), Lenny Moore (1956), Thomas (1990) and Curt Warner(1983) as Nittany Lion running backs chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft.

The record-setting running back is the highest-drafted Penn Stater since Courtney Brown was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft and is the highest-drafted running back since USC's Reggie Bush was picked No. 2 overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 NFL Draft. The last running back to go No. 1 was Penn State's Carter going to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1995.

"We are beyond excited for Saquon to be the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft," Penn State Head Coach James Franklin said. "He is a once in a lifetime-type player with his work ethic, football IQ and athletic prowess. You will not find a guy who will work harder on the field, in the film room or in the weight room. He is constantly trying to improve himself. He is a guy who will instantly make an impact for the New York Giants in the locker room and on the field, not only because of the kind of player he is, but because of the man he is."

"Saquon Barkley is one of the best players to ever wear the Blue & White, but he is an even better person," offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne said. "I am quite sure that he will not only have a profound impact on the field for his new team in the NFL, but he will also be a leader in the community. He left a legacy in Happy Valley that future Nittany Lions will be striving to match for decades to follow."

Last Updated April 27, 2018