It’s probably safe to say that New York Giants fans are excited about their team picking up Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. In case you were skeptical for some reason, here’s a big piece of evidence that the hype is real in New York.
Barkley’s Giants jersey wasn’t just the best-selling jersey of the 2018 NFL draft, which is no small feat given that five quarterbacks went in the first round and are now seen as the future of their franchises. No, Barkley’s jersey sold better than any first-round pick in NFL draft history on draft night, according to a report from ESPN citing information from Fanatics, which runs the official NFL online shop.
Barkley’s jersey apparently toppled a record set by Johnny Manziel after he was picked by the Browns in the first round of the 2014 draft, though the report notes that Barkley had an advantage because of his earlier selection and the fact that Fanatics began jersey sales only minutes after the 21-year-old was drafted. Combine all that with a massive media market in New York and you have the potential for a sales bonanza.
Barkley is entering New York on a wave of anticipation, being widely considered the best running back prospect in years thanks to his versatility and athleticism and joining an offense that already had Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram at its skill positions.
Per the report, Barkley’s jersey was followed on the sales list by the Browns’ Baker Mayfield, then the Jets’ Sam Darnold. Of course, none of these jerseys will be in the hands of fans until these players actually pick their number.
In case you’re wondering, No. 26, Barkley’s number at Penn State, will likely be open with the Giants. That number and more was predicted by Beckham Jr., who is expecting even bigger jersey sales from Barkley, the NFL’s highest-drafted running back since Reggie Bush was also taken second in 2006.
Btw 26 in the big blue jersey WILLL be the number one sellin Jersey in America next year. Takin all bets!!!? @saquon can’t wait Lil brudda
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) April 27, 2018
More NFL draft coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• NFL draft: Round 1 winners and losers
• NFL draft grades for Round 1
• Saints pay huge price for raw, unproven talent
• And the Cowboys select … not a wide receiver