by Drew Boylhart
SR Staff Writer
January 2005
Marion Barber   RB   Minnesota
Strengths

Marion is a very underrated RB in this draft. He has good speed, strength and balance. He is smart, follows his blockers and is just now starting to understand how to set up blocks for his O-linemen. He is a tough runner through the tackles and has good enough speed along with good techniques to turn the corner. He is a powerful kid and can break tackles.  He has good lateral movement and vision. Marion has very good hands out of the backfield and is one of a handful of RBís that will stick a blitzing LB in the passing game. He has a lot of Curtis Martin in him.

 

Needs to Improve

For some unknown reason, Marion is not appreciated for his talent, work ethic and determination to be a quality back. Donít ask me why! Marion needs to put on a little more weight and muscle and he will have a good long career at the next level.

 

Talent Board Round  2

Marion is not as fast or as flashy as his new running mate on his college team, but he is every bit as effective. Year after year, we go through this with the scouts on how effective RBís will be at the next level without 4.3 or 4.4 speed. I will never get it. Curtis Martin, Thurman Thomas, Priest Holmes, Duce StaleyÖI can go on and on and on. Marion will fall somewhere in this group. Quickness to the line and intelligence, along with vision and instincts are the most important attributes -- not speed. If a player has speed and you see the potential for the other talents to come along, then I would rate the player higher, but really, a franchise back doesnít require outstanding speed. Quickness is essential.  Lateral movement, yes.  But speed?  Not really! Marion will be an excellent back and has the potential to be a franchise back in the NFL.