Saquon Barkley includes crosstown rival among his best running backs of all time

Saquon showing love to the Jets legend is no surprise

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

When you get NY Giants running back Saquon Barkley to talk about his favorite running backs, his eyes light up. While No. 26 admitted that his father had a strict rule that he wasn't allowed to idolize players growing up, that didn't mean he didn't have a ton of respect for guys carrying the pigskin.

While speaking with FanSided on Thursday in Las Vegas, Barkley didn't hesitate in naming his Top 3 running backs of all time. The first player he mentioned was an East Rutherford legend, but not one who donned blue. Nope, it was Jets great Curtis Martin.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley loved watching Curtis Martin ball out

"I’m a fan of Curtis Martin - New York Jets running back. He was fourth before Frank Gore passed him in all-time rushing. Barry Sanders is the greatest running back of all time in my opinion. The greatest football player with the rock in his hands. All-around running back, I’m going to go with Walter (Payton) because catching, blocking, he was able to do all those things. Those three guys are the first ones that come to mind."

Saquon Barkley

Barkley, who also mentioned Emmitt Smith as an incredible RB, naming Sanders and Payton among his favorite running backs ever is no surprise. Those two are widely considered among the best of the best. Even though he's a former Jets star, you've got to love Martin getting praised by Barkley too.

Kids these days will never understand how talented he was with the ball in his hands. For his career, the former offensive talent rushed for 14,101 yards and 90 touchdowns. He ranks No. 6 on the all-time rushing yards list behind Smith, Payton, Gore, Sanders and Adrian Peterson.

For his career, Barkley has rushed for 5,211 yards. He has a long way to go to be in the Top 10 conversation himself, but the three guys he mentioned (as well as Smith) sure were fun to watch during their prime.

Saquon Barkley participated in this Super Bowl Media Week interview on behalf of Silk.