At this year's training camp, tons of hype will surround the running back position with rookie Saquon Barkley expected to make this group relevant once again. But will he get the start Week 1 in the backfield?
Former Giants offensive lineman Shaun O'Hara doesn't think New York will throw Barkley into the fire to see what he's got when the regular season kicks off. Instead, the running back that many forget is on the depth chart -- veteran Jonathan Stewart -- is O'Hara's man.
"I still think Jonathan Stewart has a lot of good football left in him. I think Jonathan Stewart will probably be the starter Week 1," O'Hara said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football. "And then you kinda work Saquon into the mix."
Barkley, the Giants No. 2 overall pick, just agreed to a very lucrative rookie deal that includes $31.2 million fully guaranteed. His contract already makes him the fourth-highest paid running back in the NFL, and he hasn't taken a snap yet.
Though that high a pick and that money usually means a player will be starting, O'Hara says his expectations for the rookie isn't as high as many might be.
"I don't think he needs to lead the league in rushing, and to be honest with you, I would love if he did," O'Hara said. "But I look at no rookie running back has ever had 1,000 yards rushing for the Giants. So I don't know if I see that much output from him, plus you got all these stars around him."
What, then, does O'Hara want to see from Barkley?
"Here's what I want from Saquon Barkley, here's my expectations: I want to see 10 or more touchdowns," O'Hara explained. "They could be a combination of rushing, of receiving. The Giants have scored 12 rushing touchdowns in the last two years combined. You know how many rushing touchdowns the Dallas Cowboys have had in those two years? 42."
It is worth noting Stewart did make starts over Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey last season, and totaled 680 yards and six touchdowns over 15 games (10 starts). And though McCaffrey was Carolina's first-rounder, he wasn't the No. 2 overall selection by the Giants, who decided to pass up on a quarterback to take the dynamic rusher.
Barkley is an expected dual threat out of the backfield, given his resume at Penn State over the past three seasons. But training camp will show where head coach Pat Shurmur and his staff believe Barkley will start Week 1.