2024 Exclusive Sneak Peek: AJ Barner

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2024 Exclusive Sneak Peek: AJ Barner, TE Michigan


Welcome to the Exclusive Sneak Peek: AJ Barner, a Tight End from Michigan. He is from Aurora, Ohio, and was a 3-star recruit out of Aurora High School.

Barner began his collegiate career at the University of Iowa where he appeared in only 3 games as a freshman. During that time he had no impact and was not targeted. In 2021 as a sophomore for Iowa, he appeared in 12 games and recorded 14 catches for 16 receiving yards and 1 touchdown.

After the 2021 season, he transferred to Michigan for his junior season where he appeared in 10 games. During that season with Michigan, he caught 28 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns.

In 2023 as a senior, he appeared in 15 games for the Wolverines. During that National Championship-winning season, he racked up 22 receptions for 249 yards and 1 touchdown.


Measurables

AJ Barner

NCAA Statistics

Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2020IndianaBig TenFRTE3000000000
2021IndianaBig TenSOTE121416211.610001416211.61
2022IndianaBig TenJR10281997.13000281997.13
*2023MichiganBig TenSRTE152224911.310002224911.31
CareerOverall646109.55000646109.55
Indiana423618.64000423618.64
Michigan2224911.310002224911.31
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/7/2024.

Scouting Reports

Strengths

  • Has good acceleration and solid straight-line speed.
  • He has good body control and can track the ball in the air.
  • Great high point ability, and excels at boxing out defenders to come down with contested catches.
  • Has a good burst off the line of scrimmage and fights through pressure when pressed off the line.

Weaknesses

  • He struggles to beat zone coverage and often looks lost on the field.
  • Need to learn to recognize the open spots to sit down in the coverages.
  • Has decent but average overall playing speed and often plays slower than he actually is.
  • His lack of elite speed and size may fail to translate results to the next level.

Pre-Draft Analysis

Expected Draft Capital: Late Round 5/Early Round 6

Ideal Landing Spot: Washington Commanders

AJ Barner Michigan
Courtesy of nflmockdraftdatabase.com

The upside for Barner may be limited, but a landing spot such as Washington could give him a chance to blossom as a player. He is likely to be a Day 3 pick as he is a developmental player who will need some seasoning in the league before he can be a consistent producer.

There are a handful of teams that could take a shot on a developmental tight end, although the best landing spots for a tight end are likely to draft a Day 2 player rather than wait for the likes of Barner.

Check out The Fantasy Football Universe video breakdown of AJ Barner below.

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