Senior Bowl Spotlight: Kenjon Barner
Byron Lambert, Rosterwatch.com
Kenjon Barner, RB Oregon
Weight: 192 lbs
Utilizes the skip-cut. Does not possess a signature move.
Barner is a game changer in space with his speed and acceleration. Although similar in size, he does not have the physical inside running presence of his predecessor, LaMichael James. He is going to have trouble breaking tackles in the NFL, and will be limited to being a space player. He is valuable in the passing game, and will be a nice addition for a creative offensive coordinator that already has a workhorse back in place. At Oregon, many of Barner’s big plays are uncontested at the line of scrimmage and beyond, as he hits huge North/South lanes created by the spread offense.
Good speed, acceleration, and vision. Smooth angular change of direction. Can hit the cutback. His burst is fairly sudden. Shows he can break some tackles in the second level and finish his runs with forward momentum. Displays above average balance and the ability to run away from people in the open field. Solid pass receiver on screens and sideline routes. A big play guy.
Not much evidence of Barner breaking tackles or fighting through traffic at the line of scrimmage. Although he can hit the cutback, he is not a particularly nifty runner in the second level. While he does have a suddenness to his burst, he is not sudden in his change of direction. He is not a three down back in the NFL.
Kenjon Barner will be drafted early on Day Three, possibly late on Day Two. He will be a nice complementary piece to an offense looking for some game changing speed and long play ability out of the backfield. He will also be utilized on special teams. Expect contributions similar to what we saw from Steelers rookie, Chris Rainey this season. He won’t be an offensive lynchpin but he will add a contributing dynamic element to the right team, with the right scheme and personnel.