Derrick Barnes NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Detroit Lions LB

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

Purdue linebacker Derrick Barnes (55) celebrates a defensive stop with safety Jalen Graham (6) against Northwestern during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

 6'0 3/8"



—Rare size for an off-ball linebacker, which should help as a "Mike" or "Sam" prospect.

—Played defensive end full-time in prior years and played end situationally in pass-rushing situations in 2020.

—Savvy in coverage to find players in his zone drops.

—Does a great job playing over blocks made by fullbacks and tight ends.

—Good play recognition on play action.

—A secure tackler.



—Good athlete for his size, but lacks traditional foot speed in space compared to NFL linebackers.

—Angles taken can be too shallow at times.

—Not the most fluid athlete from a sideline-to-sideline perspective.



54 TKL, 5.5 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU

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—Originally committed to Western Kentucky but joined Jeff Brohm, who left Western Kentucky, at Purdue.

—State champion shot put thrower as a senior in Kentucky.

—Played defensive end and linebacker at Purdue.



Derrick Barnes' size does not correlate well for a full-time pass-rusher at the NFL level, but he transitioned later in his Purdue career to a true off-ball linebacker position that allowed him to drop down to the line of scrimmage on pass-rushing downs. He is somewhat of a hybrid, as his skill set will demand to put him into the right positions, but we have seen that succeed if the team commits, like with Kyle Van Noy.

Immediately, Barnes should be viewed as a backup linebacker, edge-rusher and special teamer who can save a team a roster spot due to his versatility. He has the potential to grow into a mid-level starting linebacker down the line if he can be played into the right roles in situational football.


GRADE: 7.3/10 (Round 4)





Written by B/R NFL Scout Justis Mosqueda

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