Predicting NY Giants’ rushing, receiving touchdown leaders in 2021

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NY Giants, Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Rushing touchdown leader

Saquon Barkley’s anticipated return has the chance to be the spark plug that ignites what was a listless NY Giants offense in 2020.

Make no mistake, this is a pivotal season for Barkley, after the NY Giants picked up his fifth-year option but have yet to engage in long-term contract negotiations with the former No. 2 overall draft pick.

If Barkley can stay healthy, and on the field for 16 games for the first time since his rookie season, there is a legitimate chance that he finishes among the top-five most productive running backs in the league. Barkley’s explosiveness as a runner and ability to contribute in the passing game as a receiver out of the backfield make him one of the more versatile weapons in the game.

As a rookie, Barkley rushed for 1,307 yards with 11 touchdowns, both career highs. He has now missed 18-plus games, and was limited throughout the 2019 campaign due to the lingering effects of a high-ankle sprain, so staying healthy needs to be Barkley’s top priority this season.

Devontae Booker’s presence has the potential to vulture some goal-line and change of pace carries from Barkley, which might not be the worst approach if the NY Giants’ aim is to keep him on the field for as much of the season as possible. Still, if Barkley plays 17 games, this has the potential thanks to a revamped offensive line and myriad of new weapons that command defense’s attention, to be his most productive year yet.

Prediction: Barkley leads the NY Giants with 13 rushing touchdowns