Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines the play of 2019 NFL Draft prospect, RB Alex Barnes of Kansas State.
If there was an athletic superhero hiding out in plain clothes on the collegiate scene, Alex Barnes might have been posing as the anonymous alter ego. Barnes is a quick, powerful back with more grace that initially meets the eye.
About 6-8 weeks ago on Twitter, I shared a one-handed catch of a deep target from Barnes as a small taste of what would be in store. Barnes followed up with an NFL Combine performance that got the rest of the football media’s attention, doing 34 reps on the bench press and running a slot-receiver-like 6.95-second, three-cone drill, and an impressive 4.1-second 20-shuttle. Add a 38.5-inch vertical leap, and the 6’0″, 226-pound Barnes gave notice that he deserves another look.
Barnes’s size, acceleration, strength, and cutting makes him a good fit in a gap scheme. In terms of style, Barnes’ athletic strengths and receiving skill places him on a spectrum of talents that include Bryce Brown and David Johnson. Brown had the talent to become a dominant back, but his approach to the game led to a short college and NFL career. Johnson is capable of dominance when he has competent surrounding talent.
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