Giants running back Saquon Barkley wasn't the first player selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, but apparently, he still ranked as the most popular rookie during the first round of the draft, at least based on jersey sales.
According to ESPN.com, Barkley had the top selling jersey of any rookie on the first night of the draft, which I guess shouldn't come as a surprise, since that's exactly what Odell Beckham predicted would happen just minutes after the Giants made Barkley the No. 2 overall pick.
Giants fans were clearly excited about the addition of Barkley, and they showed it with their wallets. If everyone in New York is walking around with Barkley's No. 26 jersey this week, now you know why. The most impressive thing here is that to get the top spot, Barkley's jersey had to outsell four quarterbacks who were all selected in the top 10. According to Fanatics, the company that runs the NFL's official online shop, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold ranked No. 2 and 3 in jersey sales on the night.
Although Fanatics didn't release specific numbers, the company did say that Barkley had the biggest opening night in NFL history. There were so many Barkley jerseys sold on Thursday that the Giants rookie broke the jersey sales record that had been held by Johnny Manziel since 2014.
Of course, Manziel could probably point out that the record would still be his if his Browns jersey had been on sale the whole night. As the No. 2 overall pick, Barkley was selected at around 8:20 p.m. ET on Thursday and his jersey went on sale shortly after that. As for Manziel, who was the 22nd overall pick in 2014, he was selected around 9:40 p.m. ET, which means Barkley's jerseys were on sale for an extra hour and 20 minutes.
Either way, the big winner here is the Giants, and that's because it seems that their fans are completely on board with the Barkley pick, despite the fact that the team passed up on potentially drafting their quarterback of the future at No. 2 overall.
On a somewhat related note, one person who might not have bought a Saquon Barkley jersey yet is his own dad, and that's because his dad is a huge fan of the New York Jets. Apparently, Barkley's dad has a Jets tattoo, and Saquon wants to see that thing removed so badly that he might spend part of his first paycheck on it.
During an interview with ESPN on Thursday, Barkley said he would be getting his mom a house with his first check, and then possibly giving some money to his dad so he can get rid of the tattoo.
"Hopefully we can find a way [to get rid of the tattoo], maybe that might be another purchase," Barkley said.