Giants running back Saquon Barkley is one of the hardest players to bring down in the NFL.
That statement was previously just based on the eye test. Now the NFL's Next Gen Stats has definitive proof of that.
Labeling an analytic statistic called "yards gained after close-in," Barkley was determined to be the NFL's second-toughest running back to bring down.
NFL Next Gen Stats released the league's top-three rushers via ESPN and Barkley fell between Titans running back Derrick Henry and Packers running back Aaron Jones.
The statistic measures how many yards each rusher gained on average once a defender is within one yard of them. Henry earned 4.6 yards on average, while Barkley and Jones hit the 4.5 yard mark.
Barkley described to ESPN what he thinks makes him so hard to bring down. His description was one many observers of the G-men see on a weekly basis.
"Versatile. You don't know what's coming. I gotta keep you on your toes, keep you guessing," Barkley said.
One of Barkley's teammates both with the Giants and in college at Penn State, cornerback Grant Haley, also had an interest description of what makes him so hard to tackle.
"Trying to tackle Saquon is almost like seeing a car come at you that can jump cut to the next lane. Not the easiest thing to do," Haley said.
While Barkley is slightly edged out by Henry, there's a bit of an asterisk here. By comparison, Barkley reached this high number with a ton more overall touches.
Barkley had 352 touches last season on the ground and in the air, compared to Henry's 230 and Jones' 159.
Or if you're not a fan of the fancy stats, Barkley led the entire NFL as a rookie in all-purpose yards with 2,028 as a rookie.