Rookie Profile: AJ Barner

Rookie Profile: AJ Barner, Tight End, Seattle Seahawks

Welcome to the Rookie Profile: 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.


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Draft Capital & Landing Spot

Draft Capital- Round 4 Pick 121

  • AJ Barner has some talent but always seems like ‘Just a Guy” to me. So, to see him go on day two was beyond surprising. I believe he was worthy of a day-three pick, but this is certainly more draft capital than I ever imagined.
  • This level of draft capital for a tight end is solid, but it’s very confusing, to say the least. The Seahawks have other tight ends on this roster but seem to be happy running lots of two tight-end sets, so this may continue. Regardless, this one is confusing. It gives you hope that Barner could be fantasy-relevant, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on it.

Landing Spot- Seattle Seahawks

  • The Seahawks already have two tight ends that I’ve been a big fan of. I always believed that Noah Fantas and Pharoah Brown would be solid producers if given a larger role, so again, this pick is confusing.
  • You can take this landing spot in one of two ways. If you believe in Brown and/or Fant, then you are out on Barner and see him as buried on this depth chart. If you don’t believe in either of the current Seahawks tight ends, then you see plenty of opportunity and are likely to view Barner as a great late-round sleeper.

Team Depth Chart

Expected Role: Backup Tight End

Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart

Depth Chart via Fantasy Pros

Fantasy Impact

The fantasy impact here is confusing, to say the least. I can’t see a great deal of optimism in his fantasy outlook. The draft capital was surprisingly high and the landing spot leaves room for opportunity, but I don’t think there is much of a pathway to fantasy value.

Factor in a loaded wide receiver corps and two talented running backs, as well as two other tight ends on the roster and it seems like a longshot that Barner will produce at any usable level for your fantasy team.

Check out The Fantasy Football Universe Sneak Peek Video of AJ Barner.

Check out our 2024 Rookie Rankings Page for a full breakdown of this rookie class.

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