Saquon Barkley aiming to show 'they got the right guy'

Saquon Barkley understands that some still hold to the belief that the New York Giants should have selected a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft instead of him.

As for whether that makes sense to him, well that's another story all together.

"Yes. I understand that," Barkley, the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, told the media Thursday. "I don't care for their opinions or anything, I can't change those opinions. Not being cocky or anything, but if a rookie of the year doesn't sway that mindset, then I don't know what will."

Barkley dazzled to the tune of 1,307 yards rushing (second in the NFL) with 5.0 yards per carry along with 91 catches (first on the Giants and second among backs in the league) for 721 yards and 15 total touchdowns. He was consistent, while also flashing big-play ability.

Alas, the Giants limped to a 5-11 record with aging quarterback Eli Manning seemingly taking as many hits from the media and fan base as he did from defenders behind an often-porous offensive line. So, as Baker Mayfield created buzz and promise in Cleveland, Lamar Jackson ran the Ravens back to the playoffs and Sam Darnold showcased promise in the same city, rookie quarterbacks were all the rage, while Big Blue fans seemed to simply be raging about the need for a new signal-caller.

Enter the Odell Beckham trade and apparently not much has changed. But Barkley remains focused not on proving naysayers wrong, but proving those who drafted him correct.

"My mindset is to continue to prove to the people in this locker room and in this building that they got the right guy," he said. "Not only the right guy because I can break off an 80-yard touchdown, because there are a lot of people in the league that can do that, but as a guy that can buy in and take that leadership role, I believe that I have been able to show that so far and I have been able to take that to a whole different level."

While Barkley's first impression upon the New York fan base, spectacular as it was, might still not be enough, it certainly has been for one new Giant.

"The guy is obviously a phenomenal talent," said receiver Golden Tate, who signed with the Giants in the offseason. "I think he has the potential to be one of the best backs to ever play the game. He's bringing the mentality and the mindset that a championship-type organization needs."

Perhaps after another stellar season -- or if a quarterback is selected next week -- Giants fans will embrace the brilliance of Barkley and forget about what could've or would've or should've happened an April ago.