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Scouting the NFL Draft: Tennessee EDGE Derek Barnett

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Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee
Ht. 6'3", Wt. 265, Arm: -, Hand: -, Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Florida, Alabama, Texas A&M
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Derek Barnett has always been productive on the football field. The 4-star recruit was an all-state selection as a senior and a two-time Tennessee Mr. Football. He committed to the Volunteers and made an impact immediately as the first true freshman to start on the defensive line in school history.

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Barnett finished his freshman season with 20.5 TFL and 10 sacks, which — along with Myles Garrett — Jadeveon Clowey's SEC freshman sack record of 8. He added 10 sacks and 12.5 TFL as a sophomore and capped his college career with 13 sacks, 19 TFL and 16 QB hurries as a junior. In the Music City Bowl, he recorded his 33rd career sack, which broke Reggie White's school record of 32.

Strengths

• Strength - Excellent bull rush, anchor
• Hands - Quick, heavy, violent
• Motor - Relentless lots of effort production
• Burst - Flashes plus burst
• Snap Anticipation - Often first off ball
• Versatility - Effective on edge, inside
• Coverage - Comfortable in zone and even man
• Production - 33 sacks, 52 TFL in 3 years in SEC

Weaknesses

• Athleticism - Lacks elite trait
• Technique - No consistent counter move
• Stiff - Mediocre bend, agility
• Offside - You'll have to live with a few penalties

Verdict: First Round

Barnett's worthy of a first-round pick because his floor appears to be a quality strongside defensive end, but I don't think he has the upside of some of the other edge rushers in this draft. He does flash the tools to develop into a consistently disruptive defensive lineman. He also has the strength and hand usage to be an effective 3-technique in sub packages and could even grow into that role full time.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is the type of quality defensive line coach that can help Barnett grow into effective front-four defender. Barnett would provide the Cowboys with top run defense on the edge and backfield disruption from the inside. His lack of elite athleticism could push him down boards, but he would be a nice fit in Dallas.

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