4. Saquon Barkley, RB
This past season, the Patriots decided to add a high-profile running back, but it wasn’t exactly a high-priced one. Ezekiel Elliott, who was once a dominant force in the NFL, wound up signing a one-year deal to be the No. 2 back behind Rhamondre Stevenson.
Elliott put up 642 yards on the ground and 313 through the air with five total touchdowns. While the overall numbers were solid, his yards per touch was just 4.1 and he had only 3.5 per rushing attempt. New England will likely be moving on and while Stevenson has had success, they could be in the market for a more explosive No. 1.
If so, Saquon Barkley is someone worth taking a chance on. Another former No. 2 overall pick, Barkley spent the past five seasons with the New York Giants. There were times he struggled, but he also had moments where he looked like one of the more dominant players in the league.
In all, he has 5,211 rushing yards with 35 touchdowns as well as 288 receptions for 2,100 yards and 12 more scores. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield would be huge for any quarterback, especially if the Patriots wound up with a rookie. He’s also capable of carrying the load on his own, which he proved in 2022 when he led the team to the playoffs with Daniel Jones under center.
Barkley is coming off a subpar campaign but that’s not all on him. New York was a mess all year especially when it came to their aerial attack. This allowed defenses to zero in on Barkley, limiting him to 3.9 yards per attempt. On a new team with a better supporting cast, there’s no doubt he can be a difference-maker.