Keeping things close to home (Chip Kelly’s former home, that is), the Eagles have acquired former Oregon running-back/return-man Kenjon Barner from the Carolina Panthers.
Chip Kelly had this to say on the move, which will reunite Kelly with his former college player, in return for a conditional seventh round pick.
“Kenjon will hopefully bring some depth to both our running back and return positions. He’s obviously a guy I know really well from Oregon, where he had a very productive career. He has a lot of speed, explosiveness and had a knack for making some really big plays. But our plan with him right now is get him in Philadelphia as soon as we can and plug him in at running back and returner and let him compete.”
Fair enough. The continued NFL attraction with his former Oregon players, and even the Pac-12 in general, is finally beginning to scare me, but it isn’t like with the exception of Patrick Chung, things have failed drastically with any of those players.
The move also means that despite a shoulder injury to Josh Huff, Damaris Johnson is still extremely unlikely to make the roster because of his ability to be a return-man. In fact, he might as well begin packing his bags at this moment.
Barner doesn’t necessarily have the explosive speed or elusiveness that will ever allow his NFL game to emulate that of college career, but he will make the roster as someone who can return kicks, and will serve as the team’s fourth running-back. This probably isn’t the type of pickup to get too excited about, but he fills a need, and the Eagles didn’t give up much of anything, so it isn’t a bad move.