Peyton Barber, RB
School: Auburn | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Sophomore | Age: 20? / 21?
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 225 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late Rounds or UDFA
NFL Comparison: Chris Ivory
Peyton Barber started his redshirt sophomore season as the 3rd tailback on the depth chart behind Jovon Robinson and Roc Thomas. Both were injured and Barber was thrust into the starting role for Auburn. He thoroughly took advantage of the opportunity. Barber worked for 100-yard rushing totals in five games this year on his way to over 1,000 yards and 13 rushing TDs. What jumps out about Barber is he has a nice lateral step, he's patient, displays good vision, and has a tremendous burst through the gap. He is a big bruising north / south back with surprising speed. He, for the most part, has sure hands and good ball security (he fumbled 3 times this season but lost none).
Barber quickly became a fan favorite at Auburn. Watching Barber this season a couple things were clear: He ran with tremendous heart and effort and he seemed determined to make something good happen every play. He was running with a purpose if you will – and as it turns out that expression is very real. During Barber's media appearance at the NFL scouting combine, he revealed that the reason he chose to forgo his two remaining years of eligibility, a move that didn't make sense at the time, was because his mother is homeless.
Barber waited until the day of the deadline to declare for the NFL draft, he plays with a sense of urgency on tape, I can see why.
- Big compact body type with powerful legs that always churn forward.
- Displays great patience and vision waiting for a hole to develop when it forms he shows great burst to get through. Has a nice lateral step – simple, doesn't dance around the line of scrimmage makes a cut and goes.
- Physical back lowers his head and takes out defenders.
- Great athleticism speed and acceleration for his size.
- Plays too high at times it reduces his ability to break tackles and have the momentum to fall forward.
- Needs work as a pass blocker.
- Not very agile or elusive.
- Limited record of production.
Let's see his work:
Totally get Auburn RB Peyton Barber going pro. 1,000-yard back, splitting with Robinson in 2016 and loaded RB draft class next year.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) January 18, 2016
Surprised Auburn rSoph RB Peyton Barber is entering the draft. Solid player but only one year of production.— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) January 18, 2016
"My mother is homeless right now."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 25, 2016
Former Auburn RB Peyton Barber declared for NFL Draft early to help his family. https://t.co/OmUwEyOpwl
Peyton ran a 4.62 40
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
Barber is a hardworking, tough, physical running back. He took advantage of his opportunities. Outside of his personal circumstances it should be noted had he returned to Auburn he would have likely seen a reduction in carries with a healthy Javon Robinson returning. Barber is all heart and passion and he will make an NFL roster somewhere. However, I think the Redskins should steer clear IF Barber significantly improves his stock this week for a couple reasons. Though it's completely understandable why Barber left school (I think he has the mental and physical make-up to succeed) I am wary of players with only one year of production. His resume is limited and you can't be completely sure of what you're getting.
Secondly, I compared Barber to Chris Ivory, Ivory is a good player but we have a similar back on the roster in Matt Jones. I think if the Redskins are in on an RB in this draft it's going to be a big but dynamic back that has more wiggle, elusiveness, pass-blocking ability, a proven track record, and perhaps speed than what Barber has.
If I am completely wrong (which is always possible) I think Barber could contribute to the Redskins. We can see the heart he plays with, he leaves it all out on the field. We need more guys like that. Barber would add depth to the position that needs it with the impending departure of Alfred Morris. Barber would have to prove his worth on special teams and maybe even 3rd downs. He can do it though the hard part of his life is almost over.