#3 Kenjon Barner: Speed Kills, But Kenjon Barner is his Own Weapon, A New Level on the Campus of Oregon

Posted: February 19, 2013 in RBs 2013
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Kenjon Barner #24 with the Stiff-Arm of an Oregon State Beaver in the Civil War.

Of all the points that have been scored by the Oregon Ducks in the Chip Kelly era with Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart to Jeremiah Masoli and LaMichael James, to reach levels this past season that no one has seen since Tom Osborne’s Nebraska teams in the mid 1990’s with Lawrence Phillips, Ahman Green, and Tommie Frazier. What can I say Chip Kelly knows offense and Kenjon Barner was another star of his Richard Simmons type super-speed workout plan.

Barner had some people around the nation forget that they had lost LaMichael James in the draft in 2012. Also remember he shared a backfield with DeAnthony Thomas, who is also a productive back in that offense.

But even with that it was fair to say Barner was the focal point of an offense that could score almost at will. Barner ran for 1,767 yards and 21TDs rushing last season en route to an invitation for the Heisman trophy in which he finished third, 1st team All-American and another Oregon appearance to a BCS bowl game. Remember the USC game he had with 321 yards and 5TDs now that is putting a team on his back.

Kenjon Barner (24) and LaMichael James, runnin...

Kenjon Barner (24) and LaMichael James, running backs for the Oregon Ducks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Overall he had a great season, now on to the draft talk. Scouts see him in the same light as James from a year ago in the 2nd-3rd round range. After all he’s lightning fast (4.30-4.40 40 yd. dash) but only seems like he’s being held back he’s a so-called “system back.”

I see him as a Reggie Bush/LeSean McCoy type; he can score anytime he touches the ball. One of his knocks or weaknesses would be his small stature of 5’9” 188lbs it was for many others before him so keep that in mind. Also the perception of the Oregon offense, it’s not like LaMichael James and Jonathan Stewart are blowing people’s socks off these days. One factor is the business itself. With the fact that there are a lot of good backs in the league so the demand isn’t there like it was in the McFadden/Peterson/Bush years in the mid 2000’s.

Could we also see this guy in a Kevin Faulk/Chester Taylor type role? I would answer yes. He’s a guy where 10-15 touches can get you 140yds+ in his good games. My comparison would be Reggie Bush but more of a Darren Sproles but we all know what Sproles is capable of in his time with the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints.

Great fits for Barner include the New York (Jets), Green Bay Packers or San Diego Chargers.

For San Diego it would only be possible because Ryan Mathews hasn’t shown he can stay healthy or maintain a good level of production, if anything he’s been a fantasy bust plus they miss Darren Sproles ALOT, his ability in the screen game and also with draws.

In the Jets case it be like I mentioned about Giovani Bernard. Barner could pair with Shonn Greene to carry that team cause Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are both just on another level of terrible.

For Green Bay I don’t feel Dwayne Harris and Alex Green are even capable backs in the league. In that offense I feel Barner would shine. They have yet to “replace” Ryan Grant which has cost them in the past two years.

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