STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Saquon Barkley said he fell a little short of his combine workout goals -- which clearly were pretty lofty -- because by the end of Friday he had quite a few eye-popping workout numbers.
"I wanted to get in the 4.3's, wanted to get at least a 42-(inch) in the vert, but I can't complain," Barkley said Friday in an interview with NFL Network. "One of my goals was when we caught the ball to make sure none of the balls touched the ground and I was able to do that and tried to look smooth through the drills and finish."
The potential top-5 pick posted an official 40-yard dash time of 4.40 seconds, marks that were especially impressive considering he did so at 233 pounds. His times put him ahead of some of the NFL's top backs, including Ezekiel Elliott (4.47), Leonard Fournette (4.51), Alvin Kamara (4.56) and last year's eighth overall pick, Christian McCaffrey (4.48).
In a workout that produced freakish numbers for Barkley he also posted a 41-inch vertical -- three inches higher than his best at Penn State -- and put up 29 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Just how impressive were those figures? Well, per NFL Research the only player with 25-plus reps on the bench and a vertical of 40-plus inches during last year's combine was defensive end Myles Garrett who was drafted No. 1 overall.
Barkley's work on the bench included one more rep than Cleveland offensive tackle Joe Thomas, a vertical that was 2.5 inches higher than the one Julio Jones produced at the combine and a faster 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash than DeSean Jackson. Barkley told NFL Network he interviewed with the Giants, Jets, Colts, Buccaneers, 49ers and Broncos. He didn't list the Browns, but then said he had met with them, too.