Today we will take a look at the latest speedy, Oregon, RB, to make waves. I present to you, Kenjon Barner
Name: Kenjon Barner
Projected 40: 4.45
Rushing Yards: 1767
Rushing TDs: 21
Rushing AVG: 6.33
Receiving Yards: 256
Receiving TDs: 2
Receiving AVG: 12.80
Barner will bring elite speed with him to the NFL. This speed isn't just straight line speed though. Barner can move laterally almost as fast as he goes North South. Kenjon has shown the strength and agility to break arm tackles, and make tacklers miss. Barner is a very dangerous weapon if he can get the ball in space. Barner's versatility is exemplified by his receiving capabilities. Even though he might not have shown it when he lost the ball, in the K-State game, he has very good hands for a RB. Kenjon's speed allows him to get open easily for his QB.
Kenjon seems to be plagued with the same questions that other Oregon RBs have had to face before him. Can Barner be a lead back in an NFL system? In short yardage situations, Barner hasn't shown anything to be amazed with. He sometimes struggles to follow his blocks going North and South. Barner feel more comfortable bouncing outside, and letting his speed do the talking. If you can hit him low, Kenjon will usually go down quickly. He hasn't shown the ability to really fight through those low tackles. Tight spaces are not friendly to Kenjon.
Kenjon Barner and the Jets
It's no secret that the Jets need help at RB. Even though Greene has stumbled his way to a 2nd 1000 yard year, I don't know of anyone that sees him as an effective bell cow. Powell and McKnight look like decent depth for the future, but haven't shown that they can be lead backs. In addition to needing a primary RB, we need a big play threat. There are few if any players on this offense that teams need to spend extra time prepping for.
There is no denying Barner's play-making ability. He would automatically bring speed and versatility to an offense that is in dire need for both. When Barner is on the field, teams will need to know where he is, and how to stop him. The question is, how often can we get him on the field. I do not see Barner as an every down back. I see him being more of what we hoped McKnight would be.
With all signs pointing to Tom Gamble becoming our new GM, he might not like what he sees from McKnight. He might want to take a look at another speedy Oregon product. Gamble did have a hand in drafting LaMichael James, who is a similar player. Even though, Barner's value is unquestionable. I would want to find our primary back before we start looking for guys like Kenjon to solidify the RB position.
Projected Draft Position