Former NFL Head Coach Has Bold Prediction for Saquon Barkley in 2020

A former NFL head coach thinks Saquon Barkley is headed for a big year in 2020.
A former NFL head coach thinks Saquon Barkley is headed for a big year in 2020. / Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Saquon Barkley has already established himself as a top NFL running back, but there are signs his third year in the NFL could be his best yet.

Former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci recently predicted Saquon Barkley would win the 2020 NFL MVP Award during an appearance on NFL Total Access. Citing improved tactics from new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Barkley's otherworldly running ability, Mariucci argued Barkley is in position to have a MVP-caliber season.

In the modern NFL, it's difficult for any non-quarterback to win MVP. However, if any player has a chance, it would be Barkley, who's the best offensive weapon on his team by a wide margin. Barkley was limited by a high ankle sprain last year, but he still had 1,441 all-purpose yards and scored 8 touchdowns.

Of course, the last running back to win MVP was Adrian Peterson for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, a year where he rushed for 2,097 yards. Barkley may not be able to get over the 2,000 rushing yard mark like Peterson, but his abilities as a pass-catcher should make up for that. Barkley led the league with 2,028 all-purpose yards in his rookie year and should repeat the feat if he's healthy for the whole year. The Giants invested heavily in the offensive line during the NFL Draft and should still be routing much of their offense through Barkley's capable hands.

In Barkley's rookie year, he scored more total touchdowns than Peterson did in his MVP season, 15 to 13. A 20-touchdown effort in 2019 with huge receiving and rushing numbers is not out of the question for Barkley. The biggest test for the third-year back will be his own team, as the Giants are not expected to make the playoffs in 2020. However, if Barkley can drag this Giants roster to the postseason, his case for MVP will become even stronger.

Barkley is a long shot at FanDuel Sportsbook to win MVP at +5500, but the faith of guys like Doug Mariucci is not unfounded.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.