Defensive End, #9
Junior, 6’3 265
Defensive end Derek Barnett has quietly been the star for the Tennessee Volunteers since he stepped on campus. He has put up at least 10 sacks every season at Rocky Top. After three productive years, he declared for the NFL draft in April. Barnett is a dynamic edge rusher who uses his speed well. He could stand to bulk up and add some more moves in the NFL.
Barnett was a four star player coming out of Brentwood, Tennessee. The local product would go on to make waves very quickly. Coming out of high school, speed was seen as a major concern of his according to 247sports. Yet today it might be his greatest tool. His film shows a player who can frequently run around offensive tackles. He uses his hands as well as his speed to maneuver into the backfield repeatedly. As if that was not terrifying enough, he closes with good burst.
There is a distinct difference between his freshman film and his junior film, and that is speed. He looks faster than before. The downside of this is that strength can suffer. Against NFL quality tackles Barnett can get pushed around a little if he does not beat his man. He is not a slouch against the run however. In the NFL that could be something to watch. Barnett can stand to add some strength moving forward along with some pass rushing moves.
Barnett is very adept at using his hands and speed but he lacks refinement. The addition of more pass rushing moves will help his game age well. Currently he can rely on his speed to wreak havoc in the backfield. Athletic linemen in the NFL will probably put a stop to that. Bulking up will help him with that also. Barnett’s frame shows that it will be able to carry more weight. His explosiveness at the point of attack will be very valuable in the first fifty picks.
Round value: First round
Barnett could be the first defensive end off of the board after Jonathan Allen and Myles Garrett. His ability to play at different positions along the defensive front will make him an intriguing pick for NFL teams.