Kalon Barnes NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Carolina Panthers' CB

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2022

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 14: Cornerback Kalon Barnes #12 of the Baylor Bears looks to the sideline during the first half of the college football game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium on November 14, 2020 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
John E. Moore III/Getty Images

HEIGHT: 5'11 1/2"


HAND: 9 7/8"

ARM: 31 3/4"

WINGSPAN: 6'4 3/4"

40-YARD DASH: 4.23






— Very good twitch with excellent acceleration to get to top speed. He has shown the ability to run step-for-step with receivers.

— When in position, he has the ability to play the ball through the reception point.

— Willing tackler who looks to throw his body around in the run game.


— Poor eye discipline. Stares at quarterback too often, leading to him losing his man.

— Can panic at times when downfield, losing sight of the ball and man.

— Not a secure tackler. Throws his body around but doesn’t always wrap up in tackling. Can be an ankle biter at times.

— Lacks physicality on the edge. Can give up leverage and let the ball outside of him.


23 Tackles, 1 INT, 5 PBU


— Shrine Bowl Invite


Kalon Barnes is a twitchy athlete with excellent speed. His on-film speed was confirmed by posting one of the fastest 40-yard dashes ever. A cornerback who rarely plays from the backpedal when in off-coverage, he does a great job of matching receivers downfield. He is a straight-line player who struggles at times when asked to move laterally or flip his hips. He shows patience in press coverage but can often get beat to his inside with average lateral movement. When playing the pass game, Barnes has poor eye discipline and technique, which can allow receivers to gain a step on him, but his elite top-end and recovery speed often come to save him. Oftentimes, he can be overly handsy downfield, where it messes with his timing and location of the ball. Though he shows to have good athletic ability, he can have some hip tightness and poor balance, to where he can lose his footing when transitioning downfield.

When playing the run game, Barnes has below-average strength when taking on blocks. He shows to have trouble disengaging from blocks and can get moved by bigger and stronger blockers. When tackling, he often comes in low, looking to trip up ball-carriers by the ankle. Though he isn't afraid to support the run, he is often hesitant to fill at times.

Barnes lit up the combine by running a 4.23, 40-yard dash. Although his speed jumps out on film, posting the second-fastest 40 ever was a bit of a surprise. He can be slow to process routes in front of him but does a good job of running with receivers downfield. When downfield, he can be a hit or miss on how he reacts to the ball in the air based on his positioning and the timing of the ball. Not a natural ball hawk, he does best when able to stay on top of routes and react to what he sees. As a defender on the leaner side for his position, he often struggles with lack of strength in the run game. Struggling with bigger blockers, he can get pushed around and walled off at times. When tackling, he isn’t always a secure tackler and often dives at legs, not looking to secure his tackles. As the saying goes “you can’t teach speed,” and Barnes has a lot of it. Although he will need to continue to work on his technique and position-specific skills, his speed will give him a lot of opportunities at the next level.

GRADE: 6.5 (Potential Role Player - 4th Round)




Written by B/R NFL Scout Cory Giddings