Agent Michael Perrett is confident former Auburn running back Peyton Barber will hear his name called this weekend in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Element Sports Group co-founder knows the draft can be unpredictable, but the agency’s internal projections for the running back are based on extensive feedback from teams across the league.
“He’s a day three prospect,” Perrett said. “I haven’t talked to anybody who doesn’t have him on their board. Some teams have him as high as a fourth round pick, but no one that has him outside the seventh.”
As a third-year sophomore, the 5-foot-11, 225-pounder rushed for 1,016 yards with 13 touchdowns. Barber’s teammates and coaches voted him the team’s offensive MVP at the year-end banquet.
He had five 100-yard rushing performances and a memorable three-game stretch scoring 11 touchdowns including a five-touchdown performance against San Jose State.
Element Sports tracks athletes from the Atlanta area — Barber went to Milton High School less than 30 miles outside the city in Alpharetta — and a couple of the group’s recent clients talked the running back up.
“We represented Cameron Artis-Payne and Sammie Coates in the NFL draft and both of them said very nice things about Peyton,” Perrett said. “We reached out to him and found that we were very like minded.”
The Georgia native had mixed results at the NFL Combine with a time of 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump of 32.5 inches. Both results were at the lower end of his position group, but Barber handled the disappointing combine numbers in stride.
“He hasn’t got caught up in things,” Perrett said. “He’s a level-headed guy who is very mature for his age. He’s handled everything very professionally.”
The combine results haven’t overshadowed Barber’s body of work. The amount of teams showing interest in Barber is consistent with a player projected as a late round pick.
“He’s had interactions — visits, meetings, phone calls — in some way shape or form with half the league,” Perrett said. “He’s garnered a lot of interest of late as teams have gone back to watch the film and wanted to get to know him.”