2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LB Derrick Barnes

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Purdue’s Derrick Barnes is a versatile college defender who will enter the NFL hoping to secure a permanent position and settle into a singular role. Barnes spent his career at Purdue working between a stack linebacker role and an EDGE rusher role. I like his forecast best as a rush linebacker to play in odd front looks and potentially drop his hand in the dirt on obvious passing situations. Barnes had a successful 2019 campaign as a rusher and showed some ability there that will likely give him the best chance to find a roster to stick on in the NFL. If Barnes can tap into the special teams role he played early in his career with the Boilermakers, it would certainly help the cause in his bid to make an active roster. Barnes doesn’t feel like a particularly high-ceiling player regardless of what position you project him to, but he’s a hard-nosed, physical defender with plenty of power rolled into his frame to combat opposing blockers. Because he has multiple pathways to success, the odds of a team jumping at the chance to invest are certainly high. 

Ideal Role: Rush linebacker.

Scheme Fit: Odd front, single-gap defense.

Written by: Kyle Crabbs

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Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Director of Scouting

Kyle Crabbs is the Director of Scouting for The Draft Network. Prior to his time with TDN, Kyle worked for seven years as the founder of his own third-party scouting service, NDT Scouting. Providing media coverage and also consultation services for agencies, Crabbs penned an annual NFL Draft Prospectus featuring 300+ player profiles on an annual basis from 2014-2020. Crabbs is currently the co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast with fellow TDN scout Joe Marino and helps coordinate TDN's national scouting effort.

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