It's hard not to call any RB pick a luxury with the Panthers'
investment. It's not to say they can't possibly use the help, as both
starters are getting a little older, and not cheaper. Carolina pulled a
roleplayer in Kenjon Barner instead of handling needs on the OL or
Barner, the guy Ron Rivera apparently wanted when he spoke of wanting
Darren Sproles, is neither tall nor thick. He's absolutely fast enough,
built like a receiver and runs like one. To get him, the Panthers
passed up on similarly rated Andre Ellington and Mike James, both of
which seem more suited to the run game than Barner.
2013 season performance
Barner showed up in 8 games, with his only notable time coming against
Tampa (5 carries, 6 yards), finishing 6/7 and 2 receptions for 7 yards.
I don't know. Barner might be a guy you design some things for,
screens and the like, some passing plays, but so far he just goes down
on contact. That's not idea for a run-after-the-catch type deal. He's
a potentially able KR/PR, depending on where Ted Ginn, Jr or replacement
ends up on the roster.
There are worse things for a 6th rounder to not have produced, but RBs
you want to see some immediate spark. So far, Barner's still got some
work to do to redeem this pick. To this point, he hasn't shown much
different from Tauren Poole or Armond Smith, guys who lost a job to