Alex Barnes – Running Back – Kansas State: Barnes has the skill set one would assume appeals to Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy. He’s got some speed (4.59), strength (34 reps), explosion (38.5 vert./10′ 5″), quickness and agility 6.97 3-cone), burst (4.1 S.S.) and long speed (11.72 L.S.). That’s very good measurables especially from a 6′ 226 pound back. In these GIFS you will see all this and more translate to the field.
Hands: As you can see in this GIF, Barnes tracks the ball over his shoulder well. Catches it in stride in traffic and catches the ball in his hands smooth and confidently. He doesn’t even look like a Running Back here. He looks like a wide receiver.
Route Running: Here, he runs a nice seam route out of the backfield and makes a nice adjustment on an under-thrown ball. Barnes runs smooth sharp cutting routes like a wide receiver.
Dangerous out of the backfield: As you can see here, Barnes can take a simple swing pass and turn it into an explosive play.
Elusiveness: Here, you can see his vision and patience as he finds a hole and scoots through, but what makes this run special is the lightning quick jump cut he puts on a would be tackler.
Speed: Barnes shows his ability to run inside zone plays as the Bears run a lot of. However, he also displays the speed to take it to the house once he gets to the sidelines.
Power: Barnes shows the explosive power he has on this play as he literally plows a Safety over and gains an extra 6 yards after contract taking the defender for a ride along the way to gaining a first down.
Patience: In this next GIF, Barnes shows his patience as you can see him wait for the hole to open and bursts through for six.
Vision: On this play you can see Barnes’ ability to scan the field on the dead run and avoid running into tackles as he weaves through the hole and angles his way into the end zone.
Balance: Barnes shows off his superb balance able to absorb arm contract through the hole while making sharp cuts and ultimately breaking a tackle from behind still keeping his feet under him before he is finally dragged down from behind after dragging the tackler for an extra 4-5 yards displaying that power of his.
Barnes shows the traits to be a 3-down back as he can win with power, speed and quickness while also displaying the skill set to be a dangerous weapon as a receiver. The Bears should have him on their board. The only question would be at what value. From what I’ve been reading he should come of the board somewhere early day 3 likely in The fourth round.