STRENGTHS - Barner is a very good athlete that can make defenders miss with his short area quickness as well as take the edge with his speed. He gets to top speed in a flash as his explosiveness allows him to burst through the back of open lanes before they close. When he has a hole he is quick to recognize and attack, and gets downhill quickly off his initial cut. He also demonstrates the ability to catch the ball away from his body and transition smoothly up-field.
WEAKNESSES - Barner is not a well-built back and as you would expect struggles to run through contact. Despite his speed and quickness, he struggles to break tackles and is consistently taken down by the first man. When the LOS is clogged on short yardage situations he becomes hesitant and too often gets tackled for a loss. While he demonstrates good hands he does not run the route tree and tends to quit off his routes and become a spectator in the flats. He is a liability in pass protection, as he does not show a willingness to step up and take on blitzers at the LOS and gives minimal effort.
SUMMARY - Kenjon Barner was a highly productive college back at Oregon and an intriguing NFL prospect because of his speed, vision and explosiveness, but he is not an every-down back because his deficiencies as a blocker and route runner. He displays impressive speed and a willingness to attack openings inside, and is a threat to clear homerun threat. While I like his patience and vision, when he doesn't have a lane he tends to wait too long to attack and must learn to take the one and two yard gains when he has to. He must give more consistent effort when it comes to his 3rd down skills, as he shies away from contact when asked to block and does not run crisp routes down-field. Barner will never be a physical inside runner capable of breaking tackles, but he would be a solid change of pace back for a team like Washington that runs a zone blocking scheme and already has a bruiser in place.