The Philadelphia Eagles just got a little more explosive. Unsatisfied with their depth at running back, the Eagles took a chance on Carolina Panthers backup running back Kenjon Barner, in exchange for a future seventh round draft pick.

Previously buried on Carolina’s running back depth chart behind DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, Barner was potentially looking at being cut from the final roster before former college coach Chip Kelly made the move.

Barner still isn’t a lock to earn a defined role or even a roster spot in Philly, but arguably saw his odds increase greatly. Not only does he already know Kelly’s system for the most part from their days together at Oregon, but he also doesn’t have quite as stiff of competition to make the cut.

LeSean McCoy is locked and loaded as the Eagles top running back, but only passing down back Darren Sproles is secure on the remainder of the running back depth chart. Sproles himself was brought in earlier in the off-season via a trade with the New Orleans Saints, while the Eagles unloaded former backup Bryce Brown, as well.

The moves created a need for extra depth, as Barner will fight with the likes of Chris Polk and Matthew Tucker. Reports out of Carolina’s camp suggested Barner was severely “overmatched” in blocking assignments, while his brief time on the field as a rookie in 2013 had him proving to be rather ineffective as a skill player.

The move could also have been made to get another fresh, talented body into the mix leading into the season, as McCoy has been dealing with what is said to be a minor turf toe injury. Barner knows Kelly’s system and is an explosive player, so he could be added just to increase the talent and depth for the next few weeks. Per reports regarding the deal, the Eagles will only have to give up their draft pick if Barner remains on the final roster and plays more than four games in 2014.

If Barner does indeed make the final roster, it may have to be as a return man. Due to a lack of size, Barner will also need to show up better as a runner and receiver. If he can’t improve as a blocker, he may struggle to nail down any kind of a role with the Eagles, however.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *