As the 2013 NFL Draft was nearing its midway point of the third and final day, I could not help but wonder why Oregon standout Kenjon Barner had yet to be picked. Sure, Barner only had one year of being a true starter under his belt, but so did Alabama’s Eddie Lacy, and according to the experts Lacy “slipped” to the second round. I was left scratching my head, eagerly waiting to see Barner’s name flash on my screen at any moment. But still, nothing.
Fortunately for Barner — and the rest of us Ducks fans — the head scratching did not last much longer. With the 14th pick in the sixth round, the Carolina Panthers selected Barner and I caught myself jumping off my couch with a spurt of energy. I was, and still am, ecstatic about his opportunity moving forward. Not only does Barner get to join six-year veteran and ex-Oregon Duck Jonathan Stewart in the Carolina backfield, but more importantly, he got drafted.
Now, I’m not a betting man, but I would have put my money on Barner being an earlier pick than the sixth round – and at the very least, not the last Oregon player off the draft board, but none of that matters now. Barner is an NFL player, and a steal of one at that.
The only downside of going to Carolina is that cornerback Josh Norman has already taken No. 24. But hey, Kenjon, maybe your new quarterback Cam Newton would be willing to throw a few bucks he earned in college your way to help you sway Norman to change numbers.
Either way, congratulations to Oregon’s Mr. Irrelevant – a man who was nothing but relevant for the past four years. All of us here at FishDuck wish you the best of luck.