New York Giants running back SAQUON BARKLEY has been named the 2018 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, Pepsi and the NFL announced today. Barkley was recognized online atnfl.com/rookies and this morning during Pepsi’s Rookie Brunch Party in Atlanta, which featured a trophy presentation by ESPN’s Sam Ponder, a DJ set by Grammy-winner Lil Jon (who is also featured in Pepsi’s Super Bowl LIII commercial), and a performance by Pepsi’s Sound Drop artist Bryce Vine.
The No. 2 selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, he recorded 91 receptions in 2018, including a single-game franchise-record 14 catches in Week 2, tied for the most by a rookie running back in league annals. Barkley became the first Giants rookie to rush for at least 1,000 yards (1,307) and his 15 scrimmage touchdowns were the most by a rookie in team history.
Barkley was one of five finalists nominated for this honor. The other finalists were Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances through the 2018 NFL season. Each week, five nominees were chosen for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week and fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Those results were used to help determine the finalists.
This is Pepsi’s 17th year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the 16th year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year award.