Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Colorado State (HT: 6’1½” WT: 260 lbs)
- Instinctive football player who finds the football at a high rate.
- Comes off the ball with an explosive first step from multiple stances.
- Highly flexible to dip his shoulder under the hands of blockers on the edge and turn corners.
- Always plays underneath the pads of blockers with great leverage.
- Can convert speed to power and pack a punch to the chest of blockers.
- Disciplined rush lanes, keeps eyes up to find mobile quarterbacks and can quickly slide off blocks.
- Flashes footwork capability to drop into pass coverage, plays with head on a swivel as well.
- Does a tremendous job holding his ground on the edge to string out perimeter run plays.
- Cuts down space to play lead blockers without hesitation.
- Will knife through run blockers and into the backfield to make plays.
- Has elusiveness in small areas to quickly work past blockers.
- Mostly shows gap discipline in run support.
- Proficient tackler, drives his legs through contact and wraps well.
- Experience and effectiveness shown from two and three-point stances on the edge.
- Highly productive across multiple defensive statistics.
- Has a knack for making big plays.
- Poor physical traits, doesn’t look the part of an NFL player.
- Lacks optimal height and length for a pass-rusher.
- Has little definition, almost to the point of being chubby.
- Doesn’t have clearly superior traits that he can rely upon at the NFL level.
- Unorthodox technique as a pass-rusher and run-defender.
- Not a true speed rusher who can hit a second gear to finish around the corner.
- Predetermines pass-rush moves at times.
- Inexperienced in pass coverage at best.
- Gets overaggressive and tries to shoot gaps or disrupt the backfield in run support too often.
- Caught out by reverses as an unblocked back-side defender, let’s aggressiveness get the better of him.
- Not always as stout as he should be at the point of attack.
- Little pursuit speed in the open field.
- Doesn’t have an obvious positional fit due to unique build and skill set.
- Played freshman season at Nebraska-Omaha, transferred to Colorado State when UNO disbanded their football program.
- 2013 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
- East-West Shrine Game participant.
Adapting an old football metaphor, Shaquil Barrett is not the first guy you want stepping off the bus. That will turn teams away as it did the scouting combine, to which he did not get an invite. His physical measurements and overall appearance leave a lot to be desired. His play doesn’t.
Barrett was the best player on the field in most of his showings. Arguably, you could include the Alabama game in that category. He is a consistently disruptive presence on the edge but also a reliable run defender. His first-step quickness and flexibility as a rusher stand out as plus traits and should keep him on the edge as an NFL player.
Teams who employ hybrid or multiple fronts should be interested in Barrett’s versatility as a depth or rotational rusher who can contribute right away. Getting him into a regimented lifting and weight management program could do wonders as well.
Draft Projection: 4th Round