FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Falcons have agreed to terms with Kenjon Barner adding another running back to the roster.
Barner joins a running backs room that includes Devonta Freeman, Ito Smith, Jeremy Langford and Brian Hill.
After Smith’s performance in his rookie season, there’s reason to believe he’ll be the Falcons’ No. 2 running back now that Tevin Coleman is no longer on the roster, but he’ll have to earn it in competition with the rest of the unit.
Barner was drafted in the sixth round by the Carolina Panthers out of the University of Oregon where he played for Chip Kelly. Barner primarily played special teams in his first year in Carolina. A year later, he was traded to Philadelphia and reunited with Kelly.
With the Eagles, Barner rushed for 310 yards on 71 carries. Barner then re-signed with the Panthers in 2018 but didn’t make the 53-man roster. He also had a brief stint with the New England Patriots for two months in 2018 before heading back to Carolina for a stint that was his most recent stop where he ended the season on injured reserve.
Where Barner fits with the Falcons
With Coleman’s departure, the Falcons have yet to solidify their No. 2 running back spot. Although it’s likely to be Smith, he’ll have to beat out Barner and others to get the job. The Falcons finished with the No. 27th rushing attack in 2018 averaging 98.3 yards per game, an area coach Dan Quinn wants improved.
At 5-foot-9, 195 pounds, Barner is not the biggest back but he makes up for what he lacks in size with his speed. At the NFL Combine, Barner finished first at his position in the 60-yard shuttle and third in the 3-cone drill. He’s also a returner, a position the Falcons also have yet to solidify. He’s returned 37 punts for 288 yards and 31 kickoffs for 718 yards in his career. He brings a versatile skillset and that’s something Quinn likes in his players.