Derrick Barnes, LB
School: Purdue | Conference: Big Ten
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6’0” / 238 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th-7th Round
Player Comparison: Jon Bostic
Derrick Barnes has played in a number of positions in Purdue’s front seven. His four years there saw him line up at middle linebacker, outside linebacker, and defensive end. While playing well at all those positions, Barnes says he felt most at home at linebacker. It showed as his sophomore year at linebacker proved to be his most productive. He even found a way to produce at defensive end his junior year despite it not being his natural position. His senior year, he lost weight to move back to linebacker and finish his career. His play this past season garnered second-team all-Big Ten honors.
- Uses length (33” arms and 81” wingspan) to keep blockers off him and make tackles.
- Does a good job of finding the ball when engaged on a block to make a play
- Versatility; An effective blitzer with experience playing DE in a 4-3.
- Enough speed and athleticism to play sideline-to-sideline ability
- Missed a few sacks because he struggled to break down and make a tackle
- Tight in the hips that can be seen when he changes directions
- Needs to be more aware in zone coverage
Let’s See His Work
Purdue LB Derrick Barnes is interesting. Has played a lot of off ball LB but has good reps in the Big 10 as a power rusher off the edge. Playing LB this week. Great job mirroring the route from K Herbert here. All over it. #BoilerUp @BoilerFootball @derrickbarnes21 pic.twitter.com/TA1lZI23Cf— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) January 27, 2021
Derrick Barnes 2019 Season Highlight Tape created for @derrickbarnes21 . Watch the full video below or on my Youtube channel! Video link will be in my bio! #purduefootball #derrickbarnes #highlighttape #collegefootball #2019seasonhighlights #football pic.twitter.com/hxzasIioaJ— Corey Adams (@cadams_17) January 29, 2020
Derrick Barnes is a LB prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.34 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 140 out of 2098 LB from 1987 to 2021.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 23, 2021
Splits projected, times unofficial.
Barnes a sleeper for a lot of folks.https://t.co/T8oXN9R3J1 #RAS pic.twitter.com/dVjrUOLcLW
How He Would Fit
I wish I could find more tape on Barnes because I came away more impressed than I thought I would. Despite his height, he uses his length effectively to stay alive against blockers and make tackles. He uses his athleticism and speed to do a good job covering running backs in the flat and blitzing in the A-gap. Although he weighs 245 lbs, he needs to get stronger taking on blockers. I also wonder if he would be better had he not switched between linebacker and defensive end.
Barnes looks like a good Day 3 option for Washington at linebacker if they don’t address the position earlier. He is a jack of all trades, master of none prospect who does many things well but nothing great. I think he has the athleticism to play in sub packages without sacrificing the ability to stop the run, especially if he can get stronger and improve his coverage instincts. He could be the primary backup to Bostic for a period of time and maybe supplant him at the position. He may also be able to play SAM LB. He certainly should be able to come in and make an impact on special teams.