Barden enrolled at Cal Poly in 2004, but did not play that season because of his redshirt status. He then started all of the team's thirteen games in 2005, accounted for 655 yards on 40 receptions (16.4 average) and nine TD. Again, he started on all of Cal's games (11) in 2006, grabbing 42 passes for 824 yards(19.6) and five TD. Barden had a breakout 2007 campaign catching 57 passes for 1,467 yards with an impressive 25.7 average. He also scored a personal best 18 TD, earning him all Great West Football Conference honors following each of his first three seasons. Following his spectacular 2007 campaign, Barden was named to the FCS All American First Team. A big receiver who knows how to use his body, Barden is more quick than fast (4.55). But, Barden has a knack for getting open behind defenders, being able to gain yards after the catch. He is a physical wide out who is not afraid to block. However, he is not a fluid athlete, his route running needs much work and he needs to control his weight. He has become "lazy" on the field, so his level of competition is a major concern as are his suspect hands. Barden is somewhat viewed as a sleeper. He does have some good traits, but he is far from a finished product. He needs better conditioning and his route running needs tons of work. Barden will also drop some balls, which is always a concern. Some Draft boards have Barden going on the first day, but I think he is a reach even in the fifth round.