Derek Barnett Player Profile

Pete Prisco really likes Derek Barnett. The CBS Sports senior football writer thinks the Tennessee defensive end will be the second pick in the NFL Draft, being scooped up by the San Francisco 49ers.

Barnett has been the third or fourth defensive end on many draft boards and in many mock drafts. The many who broke Reggie White’s sack record for the Volunteers looks to cause all kinds of havoc for opposing quarterbacks.

According to Pro Football Weekly, Barnett has heard his name mentioned in conjunction with Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett throughout his three-year college career. They began their careers at the same time, played in the same conference and had similar production. Now that they’re both ready for the NFL, Garrett is the likely No. 1 overall pick in this month’s draft. Teams will not select Barnett until later in the first round.

Prisco may be enamored with Barnett, but if you ask NFL scouts and media, Garrett, Solomon Thomas, and Jonathan Allen rank ahead of him.

Barnett’s college numbers back that up his production in college. Barnett is the first Southeastern Conference player to get at least 10 sacks in three separate seasons.

In this player profile, we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of Barnett as he moves on to the next level. We also include a few teams that will be wanting to add help to their defensive line.


According to CBS Sports, Derek Barnett has a natural flexibility to dip, stay low and get underneath blockers. Great snap anticipation to time up his get-off. Not an elite speed rusher, but controls his momentum well in short spaces to make stops. Flashes violence in his hands to free himself from blocks. He has a nice first step off the snap and gets to the quarterback.


Questionable speed. He did not have a great 40-time at the Combine, but he says he is faster than the clock showed.  Similar to another former Tennessee product, Robert Ayers, Barnett doesn’t have dominant athletic traits, but he understands how to be productive with his ball awareness and technique. At 6-foot-3 and 259 pounds, he could be an edge rusher, outside linebacker in some defensive schemes.

Teams Interested

Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys

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