2017 NFL Draft
Prospect: Derek Barnett
Prospect: Derek Barnett
Ht: 6'3" Wt: 265
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Barnett has been a consistent contributor since stepping on campus in Knoxville. He is a three-year starter, and his numbers are as good as anyone's in that timeframe. He is also one of the more versatile players in the country, and that will bode well for his draft stock. He can be an edge-player in either a 3 or 4-man front, as well as kick inside. Where he fits best will likely depend on the system of the team that picks him, as well as the weight he feels most comfortable playing at in the NFL.
The majority of Barnett's tape has him playing as an end in a 4-3 system. If that is indeed the position he will play in the NFL, he is best suited on the strong side. He is a good-but-not-great athlete, and while his first step is adequate, it is not enough to consistently put left tackles off-balance. Where he does put opposing lineman off-balance is with his handwork. His hands are constantly working, and even when he is initially neutralized, he can change direction and immediately get back in the play. His arm length is an outstanding helper as well, and he is relentless in his effort. Despite the lack of top-end athleticism, he does occasionally capture the edge in which case he does show the ability to bend and turn the corner.
Against the run, his long arms help him keep linemen off his frame, and he often disengages well to get in on the play. He has a solid punch, and one thing he has that most of the other prospects at his position don't is the lower-body strength to hold up at the point of the attack. He works his way down the line of scrimmage against runs to the opposite side and makes plays downfield because his motor doesn't stop.
If he has to play standing up, he can handle that, but I don't think I would value him as high. Against the run and rushing, the passer he is still solid, but dropping into coverage would not be something I would ask of him often. On the other hand, if he were to move inside, his long arms would make the transition easier, as would his ability to hold up at the point of attack. He would probably be asked to gain 10-15 pounds, but his frame could handle it. I personally think his value as a five-technique in a 3-4 is a close second to his value as a strong-side end in a 4-3.
He can occasionally play too high, but there aren't many other areas that he is undisciplined. I haven't heard or read anything about his character away from the field but judging by the way he plays, he should be a hard-worker. I grade him as a day-two prospect (if he comes out) due to his lack of explosiveness, but I could easily see him sneaking into the first round if someone feels he is the right fit for their team.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Jabaal Sheard (New England Patriots)
- Versatile player with scheme-flexibility
- Active hands and long arms
- Good lower-body strength
- Consistent motor
- Outstanding production
- Not an elite athlete
- Can play too high
- Jack of all trades but master of none
1)   How Tennessee DL Derek Barnett tackles double and triple teams   - USA Today |
2)   Is Derek Barnett the SEC defensive player of the year?   - The Tennesean |
3)   Vols' teammate: Barnett better person than player
- GOVols.com |
4)   Derek Barnett Twitter|
5)   Derek Barnett Instagram|