Friday, February 4, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Darian Barnes, DE/LB, Tuskegee University

Prospect Darian Barnes was a defensive end in college but is projected to be a rush outside linebacker at the next level in a 3-4 alignment for NFL teams. Barnes has an impressive frame with an athletic looking build at 6-3, 245 lbs and 34 inch arms. His athletic ability jumps out on film, but he is raw. He explodes off the snap with a great first step, keeps his feet moving on contact, and is fluid in changing direction. Barnes plays with a good degree of quickness, immediately alters his angle of attack and shows a burst of closing speed baring down on the play. On film, Barnes shows good spin, dip and swim moves when rushing the passer. He effectively uses his hands, plays with good knee bend and pad level. Breaks down well and gives a lot of effort hustling around the field. Barnes showed his pass rushing skills during the HBCU Bowl week getting the best against most of the selected offensive lineman in one-on-one drills and in team sessions. He stood out in the HBCU Bowl All-Star Game constantly getting pressure on the quarterback and registering two sacks. He did not run for scouts at the HBCU Bowl combine, but is reported to run in the mid 4.6s. Barnes did show his strength for scouts with 22 reps on the bench. In watching film on Barnes, it shows that he has a tendency to bite on play-action passes and get caught up the field and out of position. Sometimes Barnes gets easily blocked on plays away from the ball which leaves him lost in traffic during the play. Barnes primarily lined up in a three-point stance in college and was not asked to drop back in coverage, which is a concern for scouts in projecting his transition to fit as a LB in a 3-4 scheme. Barnes is the type of player that teams look to develop on practice squad and hope will contribute over time. He will also have to impress and contribute on special teams to increase his chances at the next level. Barnes offers a good degree of upside potential and is a solid developmental prospect for the next level.
Darian Barnes youtube film