Barkley's jersey top seller for 1st-round picks

Saquon Barkley, the Penn State running back selected second overall by the New York Giants during Thursday night’s NFL draft, has sold more jerseys than any other player selected in the first round.

That’s according to Fanatics, the world’s largest online seller of licensed sports merchandise that also runs the official NFL online shop.

The private company won’t divulge specific numbers, but a company official told ESPN that Barkley sold more jerseys on draft night than any other player in its history.

All years aren’t exactly equal, as marketing speed gets quicker each year. On Thursday night, for example, Fanatics started selling jerseys of players within minutes of them being drafted.

The previous high best seller for Fanatics on draft night was Johnny Manziel in 2016, but because Manziel was drafted 20 picks behind Barkley, the Giants’ newest pick had a jump start of a couple of hours.

It won’t be known until Sunday morning if Barkley’s jersey lead will hold up, but his new teammate, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., within minutes of Barkley getting selected, was predicting even bigger things.

After Barkley, the next best-selling jersey was first overall pick Baker Mayfield, who went to the Cleveland Browns, followed by the No. 3 pick Sam Darnold, who went to the New York Jets.

Jerseys ordered Thursday night will not be processed until the player picks a number. Fanatics says it will then take two to four weeks to get to the customer.

No player on the Giants currently wears No. 26, the number Barkley wore with the Nittany Lions.

Due in part to faster pushing to both online and social, Fanatics said jersey sales for this year’s first round were three times bigger than last year. The company said its total NFL merchandise business is up 40 percent year over year.

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