An Analytical Summary Of Running Back Kenjon Barner Of The Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers selected RB Kenjon Barner in 6th round with selection number 182 overall. After seeing the results that RB Kenjon Barner put up on ESPN’s Sports Science, I had an additional personal interest in doing an analytical study. On that show, he had the high mark for getting through the first set of bags that weighed a combined 1500 pounds. This was impressive for a smaller back. He was also superb in the agility portion as well.

Looking at his physical measures, the strength and speed measures are also impressive. Where the risk starts to pile on is with other metrics. His challenge and reliance scores were both negative in the running game, which signals a huge red flag. On top of that, his yards per carry were just under 4.3. In the passing game, his challenge and reliance metrics both scored favorably.

It is obvious that Barner has special athleticism, although it appears the best use of it will be as a back in the passing game. With the comparative analysis, the running back he compared to had an NFL rushing average of 4.2 yards per carry, which would have been right in the middle of the league; the 14th-17th ranked teams all averaged 4.2 yards per rush. The running back that Sports Science used as a comparative was Warrick Dunn, who averaged 4.1 yards per carry in his career. Dunn had 510 career receptions (about 3 per game) as well.

It would appear the niche for Barner is in the passing game, as a 3rd down back, and as a returner. In a more passing oriented offense, he would have much better opportunity to carve out more early down work. His comparative back didn’t make it past his rookie contract, but Barner is a plus comparison. It will be interesting to track his career as a running back with the Carolina Panthers.