Looking for your favorite sleeper pick in the NFL Draft?
Look no further. Linebacker/Edge Rusher Derrick Barnes is a fan favorite in West Lafayette and soon will be for someone’s NFL Team.
A 4 year starter at Purdue, Derrick Barnes was placed all over the field. He played Inside Linebacker, Outside Linebacker and Defensive End. He was a stat stuffer, totaling over 226 tackles, 10 sacks in 39 career games.
Barnes was the senior leader for the Boilermakers this past fall, he was a small bright spot on an otherwise dreadful defense.
He was already in the talks as a day 3 steal, then came his pro day.
At 6-1, 240 Pounds, he is a nice sized linebacker in the NFL. He ran a 4.58 40, had a 37 inch vertical and a 9-11 broad jump. This would have put him in the upper echelon of linebackers at recent years combines. With no true combine this year, his pro day may have moved him up to a round 3 selection.
From ProFootballNetwork.com, they stated this on Barnes.
“ Positives: Underrated linebacker who plays with a vicious attitude. Displays a good head for the ball, is effective in pursuit, and chases hard to make plays on the ball handler. Moves well laterally, gets out to the flanks, and is rarely off his feet. Uses his hands to protect himself, easily changes direction, and has a closing burst. Wraps up tackling and brings down bigger ball handlers or tight ends in space. Fires up the field, defeats blocks, and is a devastating run defender.
Negatives: Lacks height and may be tapped out physically. Not fluid flipping his hips in transition with tight ends or running backs in coverage.”
To me, this seems a lot like when Ja’Whaun Bentley was drafted a few years ago. A player that a lot of people did not realize how good he was while at Purdue, but when he started doing workouts, he opened some eyes.
This seems very similar. In Barnes 4 years at Purdue, he had 2 defensive coordinators and played in 3 different positions. He was productive for Purdue, but nationwide, people do not realize how good he truly was.
He will be a day 3 steal and make a NFL team very happy for many years.