Name: Derek Barnett
Position fit: 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker if necessary
Stats to know: Ranked second overall among edge defenders in 2015 and third in 2016
What he does best:
- Knows how to take out second blocker in run game
- Good balance when rushing around the edge
- Plays with good pad level in the run game, allowing him to shoot gaps, disrupt runs and break free on twists and stunts
- Wins on first contact more often than not in the run game, jarring blockers backward
- Can overpower tight ends when lined up at head up (6-tech), can be dominant run defender in that role
- Excellent bend around the corner, big chunk of his pressures he simply gets lower than the opposing tackle
- 45 of his 78 pressures came to the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle in 2016
- Pressured quarterback on 20.0 percent of his rushes, well above the NCAA average of 10 percent.
- Will jump the snap, good get-off on a number of his pressures
- Good feel for cut blocks, can work through them and disrupt the short passing game
- Capable spin move allows him to get inside offensive tackles
- Doesn't always shed as cleanly and consistently as needed in run game
- Can get caught too far upfield on the front side of zone plays
- Rarely wins with a bullrush; nearly every pressure came to the inside or outside
- Can get moved of the ball against double teams
Player comparison: Greg Hardy, Panthers (on the field)
Like Hardy, Barnett may not always look like the classic edge defender, but he gets the job done by beating blocks in the run game and as a pass-rusher.
Bottom line: Barnett’s three-year production should not go overlooked during the draft process, though it’s likely that he won’t appeal to teams looking for a classic mold of edge defender. He knows how to beat blocks, disrupt in the running game, and get around the edge as a pass-rusher and his production should translate to the next level, even if he doesn’t have the classic look of a Myles Garrett or Jadeveon Clowney.