Great read and thanks for posting.
One thing of particular interest to me was the author mentioning that Barner could see time in the slot this year and play a similar roll in our offense and special teams that Tavon Austin will in St. Louis. Barner's potential in the slot hasn't crossed my mind and I'm hoping Shula can draft up and install some wrinkles in our offense to get Barner quite a bit of touches because he is a potential home run threat if he makes the first guy miss.
I kind of doubt Barner can beat out some of our other slot candidates like Joe Adams and Pilares or Hixon. He simply doesn't have much experience at WR but I could see us running some sweeps and reverses with Adams and Barner pretty frequently.
I'd love if Barner could be a Tavon Austin-lite for this team.
Yes, I was particularly interested in the exact same thing. To your last point: A man can dream...
I'd absolutely be ecstatic if Barner could fill a similar role for us as Tavon Austin purportedly will for the Rams. Even if we could get 33 to 50 percent of the production of what everyone thinks that Austin will do for his team, I will be smiling like a fat man heading towards the buffet in Golden Corral.
As for Adams, Pilares or Hixon, I may be even happier if one of these guys would step up and be Victor Cruz-lite, but I am more skeptical about what they can do than being excited about what Barner may do (if that makes any sense). Experience as an NFL fan---and specifically a Panthers fan as of late---has tempered my expectations, especially when it comes to rookies (notwithstanding the relative success of Cam Newton), so I am not quite as high on Barner as Peter Smith seems to be. But, I reserve the right to dream. A man can dream.