Former Nittany Lion running back Saquon Barkley is among the 22 prospects who will attend the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Draft runs Thursday, April 26-Saturday, April 28. Barkley is the first Nittany Lion player to attend the draft since Donovan Smith attended in 2015.
The first round takes place Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m., rounds 2-3 are Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and rounds 4-7 are Saturday, April 28 at noon. Television coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft will be on NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN2, as well as all of the digital properties for those networks. FOX will also air the first three rounds of the draft.
Barkley capped his Penn State career by winning the 2017 Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football, being named the 14th unanimously-selected Consensus All-American in program history and finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He cleaned up on Big Ten awards, winning the Chicago Tribune Silver Football, Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year for the second-straight year, as well as the Rodgers-Dwight Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year. Barkley is the fifth player since the Silver Football’s inception in 1924 to claim the award twice, joining the elite list of Minnesota’s Paul Giel (1952-53), Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1973-74), Indiana’s Anthony Thompson (1988-89) and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller (2012-13).
The native of Coplay, Pennsylvania finished second in the FBS and led the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (179.15). He also finished in the top 10 nationally in kickoff return touchdowns (2), total touchdowns (23), scoring per game (10.6), rushing touchdowns (18). He was the 24th FBS player to produce 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season since 2000.
Barkley set Penn State’s single game all-purpose yards mark with 358 at Iowa (9/23/17), accounting for 211 yards rushing, 94 yards receiving and 53 yards on kickoff return, topping Curt Warner’s previous mark of 341 vs. Syracuse in 1981. He earned six Big Ten Player of the Week honors in 2017 (four offensive, two special teams), which are the most in a single season in Big Ten history.
Penn State returns 13 starters (8 offensive, 3 defensive, 2 specialists) and 26 additional lettermen. The Nittany Lions open the season at Beaver Stadium against Appalachian State September 1.