Auburn Tigers running back Peyton Barber made a surprise entry into the 2016 NFL Draft, declaring his intentions in a statement to AL.com:
BREAKING: Auburn running back makes surprising declaration for NFL Draft https://t.co/ILdMmmQefP
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) January 18, 2016
After sitting out the 2013 season as a redshirt freshman, Barber only received ten rushing attempts in the 2014 season as one of the back-ups behind current Carolina Panthers running back Cameron Artis-Payne. In the 2015 season, Barber seized the first-string role for the Tigers, running for 1,016 yards on 237 attempts, or 4.3 yards per carry.
Artis-Payne was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft after compiling 1,608 rushing yards on 5.3 yards per attempt with Auburn in 2014. CBS has Barber ranked as the 12th-best running back in this year’s sophomore class, a group led by Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffery, and Nick Chubb. While Barber led the Tigers in rushing yards this season, Auburn rushers have put together eleven better rushing seasons since 2000, including 1,473 rushing yards from quarterback Cam Newton in 2010.