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RB Saquon Barkley impresses early on at NFL Combine, talks about Browns

Could the Penn State running back thwart the Browns’ mission to get a QB at No. 1 overall?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns need to find their quarterback of the future within the Top 4 picks of this year’s draft, but Penn State RB Saquon Barkley is trying to make it really hard to pass up on him at No. 1 overall. He did 29 reps in the 225-pound bench press on Thursday, which is more than all but five offensive linemen could do. Side note: Georgia RB Nick Chubb also got to 29 reps on Thursday.

During his press conference at the Combine, the media gathered all around him, with two early questions coming in about the possibility of the Cleveland Browns selecting him at No. 1 overall:

(If Browns took you No. 1): “That would be awesome. Any team that wants to draft me and bless me with the opportunity to play for their franchise is a blessing. You grow up as a little kid dreaming of playing in the NFL. If it’s the Browns, if it’s the Giants or whoever, I’m gonna come in with my head low and ready to work.”

(The challenge of going to browns and helping turn around a team that’s won one game in two years): “That’d be awesome. Something bigger than you. If you go to a team like that, obviously, they’ve had some rough years. But I think they’re just a couple of pieces away. They do have a lot of young talent. They’ve brought in a new offensive coordinator. They only won one game, but they were in a lot of games. You want to be a part of something like that. Something that’s bigger than yourself. Something that will leave a legacy. Being a part of something special.”

Asked about his running style, Barkley stressed his confidence and versatility. Speed, wiggle, running through people. “I watch film of a lot of the great backs,” said Barkley. “Like the Bells, the Gurleys, the Elliotts, and try to take part of their game and add it to mine.”

Barkley officially measured in at 6’0”, 233 pounds. His 40-time will be measured on Friday.