I currently have Kenjon Barner out of Oregon as my #4 RB in the 2013 draft class. One of the things I love about Barner is his patience, he waits for his blockers to set up their blocks before accelerating through with that lightning sub 4.3 speed of his. Barner runs extremely smooth with clean cuts, and outruns everyone on the field. On tape he doesn’t look like he’s really trying to run hard, but then you notice the increasing gap between him and the defender and realize how fast he’s really moving. The most impressive stat about Barner to me is the fact that he’s averaged over 6 yard a carry all 4 years at Oregon.
My problem with Barner right now is his physicality. I rarely see Barner seek out contact as he’s a somewhat small back, and he’s never had pass blocking responsibilities at Oregon. Barner has been working with the Dallas Cowboy’s offensive line coach Tony Wise to learn how to and improve his blocking abilities, which I think will help his draft stock tremendously.
I think in the right offense Barner could excel and become one of those backs that defensive coordinators uniquely have to prepare for. His speed is rare, and he could also be utilized in the return game if he can’t find time at RB. The perfect place for Barner to land of course is the Philadelphia Eagles who recently hired his former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who knows how to get his former back the ball, and utilize him to his full ability. Barner is a nice rookie sleeper heading into next season and I believe if he’s picked up by the right team, could potentially be draft-able in standard leagues, but is obviously a quality in dynasty leagues.