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Eagles WR Parris Campbell: I think Saquon Barkley will show people 'why he's the best' RB in the NFL

A lesser-heralded steal from the Giants, new Eagles wide receiver Parris Campbell foresees big things for Saquon Barkley in Philadelphia.

After watching Barkley for a season with New York, Campbell believes the two-time Pro Bowler can use Philly's stouter offensive line to catapult himself to the very top of the running back rankings in 2024.

"I think he's going to show people why he's the best running back in the league," Campbell said Saturday, per The Philadelphia Inquirer's Olivia Reiner. "I know there's a bunch of debate between him and Christian McCaffrey. And don't get me wrong, Christian McCaffrey's by far one of the best running backs in the league. But being able to see Saquon up close and personal, being in the same locker room, on the same team, man, he's a different guy when he's on that field, honestly. And running behind that offensive line that we have, I think it's going to be pretty scary for defenses.

"You pair that with Jalen (Hurts) and the things he can do with his feet, just as far as extending plays, getting outside the pocket, I'm sure there will be some type of read-option game that we go on and RPO stuff that'll happen. So just the possibilities of it are endless."

Barkley has experienced an up-and-down six years with Big Blue, storming onto the NFL scene to win AP Rookie of the Year and produce 3,469 total yards and 23 touchdowns in his first two seasons.

An ACL tear erased most of his 2020 season, which along with an ankle injury sapped his effectiveness coming back in 2021, but he set a new career high with 1,312 rushing yards for the Giants in 2022 during a surprise run to the postseason.

Dealing with the franchise tag last offseason and eventually negotiating a different one-year deal around it preceded a lackluster 6-11 season for the Giants and Barkley, who finished with 1,242 scrimmage yards and 10 TDs on 288 touches as New York's only major threat offensively.

McCaffrey, three times a Pro Bowler and twice an All-Pro -- plus the 2023 Offensive Player of the Year -- currently deserves the title of RB1 in the NFL. He led the league in rushing yards (1,459), yards from scrimmage (2,023) and total TDs (21) last season. He's certainly outdone Barkley to this point in their careers, but he at one time was also dealing with peaks and valleys due to injuries and an otherwise ineffective offense with the Panthers before re-finding his footing with the San Francisco 49ers.

Perhaps Barkley, too, will discover yet another gear given a fresh start.

As for Campbell, he's optimistic that a separate reunion will help him forget a bad year with the Giants that was never a match.

After breaking out in his fourth year with the Colts to post career highs with 63 catches, 623 receiving yards and three scores, Campbell caught just 20 passes for 104 yards in New York. He was blanked from the end zone, and he was scratched for the final month of games despite being healthy.

By joining the Eagles on a one-year pact, he will again play under Nick Sirianni, who served as Campbell's offensive coordinator in Indianapolis during the wideout's first two years in the NFL.

"He knows how to utilize me as a player," Campbell said of Sirianni. "He knows what my skills are."

Given the familiarity, Campbell is primed to fight for targets in the wide receiver room behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, and with his speed could provide a nice complement to both.

"Being able to go in and really carve out a role for myself, getting a fair shake and just kind of going from there, I'll take my chances any day of the week," he said. "I'm confident in the player that I am."

Should Campbell find his niche to boost the WR corps and Barkley surpass any RBs who might sit above him in the consensus ranks, Philadelphia could very well rebound from the collapse it endured in 2023.

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