After timing at 4.52-seconds at 5-09, 196 pounds at the Combine, Barner was clocked as fast as 4.38-seconds in the 40-yard dash according to a high-ranking scout present at Thursday's workout. He was similarly impressive in the three-cone, going from 4.20-seconds in the drill in Indianapolis to 4.10 in Eugene, according to the scout. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
The skeptics were wrong.
Barner capitalized on his opportunity, nearly equaling his previous career totals with a spectacular senior campaign in which he rushed for 1,767 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per attempt. Barner led all senior running backs with 23 touchdowns scored in 2012 (21 rushing, two receiving), earning consensus All-American honors and being chosen as a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as the nation's elite running back.
While Barner's statistics are certainly impressive, talent evaluators are left to question how much of his success is due to Kelly's innovative scheme. There is no denying that Barner possesses the elusiveness, speed and experience as a runner, receiver and returner to help an NFL team, but his lack of preferred size and physicality could push him further down the draft board than his collegiate production might seem to warrant.
Reliable hands as a receiver out of the backfield and as a returner. Experience returning punts and kicks (has returned one of each for a touchdown) and has the vision and running skills to remain in this role at the NFL level.
WEAKNESSES: A finesse runner who only occasionally is able to break free from tackles and generate extra yardage after contact. Relies on cut-blocks rather than taking on pass rushers directly. Has struggled with fumbles over his career, especially when fielding punts and kickoffs.
COMPARES TO: Joe McKnight, RB, New York Jets -- Like McKnight, Barner possesses undeniable athleticism that has resulted in impressive statistics and plenty of highlight reel plays over his career. Each may lack the toughness and physicality, however, to ever serve as more than part of a rotation and special teamer in the NFL.