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. Because of some physical limitations, 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.
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