Saquon Barkley might be the most talented player in the upcoming NFL draft, but he isn't great at everything. He does have a weakness, and it was exposed Thursday by one of his boyhood idols.
He was schooled in a chess match by former New York Jets great Curtis Martin.
"I'm not going to lie to you guys, he put a whupping on me," Barkley said Thursday on the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney radio show on CBS Sports. "He kind of toyed with me a little bit. He told me I got a lot more work to do to become a better chess player. But just to be able to sit down with a guy like that and be able to listen to the knowledge and wisdom he was giving me -- not only to be a better player, but to try to continue to have an impact on people's lives -- is definitely something I will continue to strive to [do]."
Barkley, a novice chess player, met up with Martin in New York. The Hall of Fame running back has been playing for years, and he apparently is pretty good. For Barkley, who was born in the Bronx and grew up a Jets fan, it was a thrill just to hang out with Martin.
"You guys don't understand ... my dad really is the only one who understands how much that conversation meant to me," said Barkley, who moved to the Allentown, Pennsylvania, area as a youngster. "Even though it was so small, so little, it really did have a big impact on me and my life.
"Curtis Martin is as humble as heck," he continued. "He's one of the greatest running backs to ever play -- over 14,000 career rushing yards, and a lot of people don't speak about that. I'd be a fool not to take his advice and take the advice he gives me to the game."
It would be poetic symmetry if Barkley is drafted by the Jets, but that appears unlikely. They own the sixth pick in next month's draft, and it would be an upset if the former Penn State running back slips out of the top four.
"You never know what can happen in the draft," he said. "From watching the draft and following the NFL closely, anything can happen in the draft. But to me, it's not where I get drafted that matters to me, to be completely honest. The way I look at it, whether I'm [No. 1] or I fall to the Jets or I fall even past the Jets to the 20th pick, or even if I fall to the seventh round, it wouldn't have an impact on me."