Cody Barton, LB
School: Utah | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 237 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: L.J. Fort
Cody Barton was 3-star prospect from Sandy, Utah. He’s the son of two former Ute alumni and athletes. His dad played football and baseball for the university. His mom played basketball. Barton is lauded by his teammates and coaches as the hardest working player they have been around, how his passion fuels the defense, and how his example and leadership keeps everyone focused. Barton didn’t get any offers until his senior year in high school and though Utah was the only power 5 school that offered he didn’t hesitate to play for the school that had been a part of his family. His brother Jackson played left tackle for the Utes and participated in the Combine with his brother and is considered a late round option at tackle. He loves studying film, he loves working out, and he loves coming to practice so that he can see the work he put it pay off on the field. This draft season has been huge for Barton. I think very few people expected him to come into the Combine and outperform some of the top prospects at the position. He did just that and has popped up on scouting radars. Barton has experience playing inside and outside linebacker but I think his greatest chance for success may be playing inside at the WILL position at the next level.
- Elite agility and strength with good athleticism and size for the position.
- Excels in coverage. Moves well in space and for the most part takes measures steps to gain good depth in zone. Shows good awareness in coverage and can recognize routes developing in front of him. Takes running backs out of the mix in pass coverage and makes QBs think twice before throwing over the middle. Has the athleticism to run with RBs and TEs in the seam or on the boundary. Can track the ball in the air and make a play on it.
- Has good pass rushing skills from the outside or inside. Has the speed to beat blockers and hurry the QB and finish. Disruptive once he’s in the backfield.
- Prolific and reliable tackler.
- Leader of the defense responsible for getting guys lined up in the correct place and relaying calls. Team captain.
- Played as light as the low 220’s this past season and there are some questions about if he can keep the weight he’s gained on.
- Needs to be more effective when playing the run. Instincts and play diagnoses are a step slow causing him to miss opportunities to beat blockers to the spot he needs to get to.
- One season of impressive production and bricks for hands.
Let’s see his work:
.@Utah_Football LB Cody Barton is pretty awesome. He's super athletic with great burst (1.54s 10-yard split).— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 29, 2019
Barton and Notre Dame's Drue Tranquill both have great athleticism/explosiveness -- built for today's NFL. pic.twitter.com/4QoLdnYe3K
How Would He Fit On The Redskins?
There are a lot of athletic linebackers that will likely be around on day 3 of the draft. Barton might be the best of the bunch in terms of his coverage ability. I don’t think he’s ready to start yet and he may never be considering what I saw with his instinct and read and react ability on some plays but he certainly has a future as a coverage linebacker likely in a sub package. Boy do the Redskins need one of these but it seems they prefer their 6-4 270 lbs EDGE’s drop back and cover TE’s. A smart defensive coordinator would find a way to get Barton on the field on special teams and on passing downs. It would be really nice if he could improve his hands and increase his impact by creating turnovers but his ability to take the guys he covers out of the equation is pretty impactful on his own. He also could be asked to rush the passer in these situations and I think he can be pretty effective when he knows all he has to do is go and get after the QB. He isn’t a complete LB but he has some versatility and would improve an area at the position that the Redskins have needed for a long time. On day 3 I think a depth/role player doesn’t get much better than this at the position.