Former Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett led the SEC in sacks last season, and he also broke Volunteer legend Reggie White’s school record for career sacks with 33. Now, with less than a month until the NFL Draft, Barnett is flying up draft boards.
The latest draft board on Pro Football Focus has Barnett as the No. 3 overall player in the upcoming draft.
“Athletically, Barnett is the antithesis of (Myles) Garrett,” wrote analyst Mike Renner. “Production-wise, he’s the only player in the class that can compare to Garrett over the course of their careers. Barnett’s 37 combined sacks and hits this past season were far and away the most in college football. He also has 20 total sacks in SEC play the past two seasons.
“The only concern is his top-tier athleticism, but with the way Barnett wins—with power and hands—that’s not a big issue for me.”
PFF isn’t projecting Barnett will be taken at No. 3, but they believe he is the third best player in the draft behind Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett and Alabama’s Jonathan Allen. LSU safety Jamal Adams comes in at No. 4.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah and Charley Casserly both have Barnett being drafted at No. 9 by the Cincinnati Bengals, and Chad Reuter has Barnett being taken at No. 11 by the New Orleans Saints. Draft analyst Lance Zierlein doesn’t have Barnett being taken until the No. 28 pick by the Dallas Cowboys.
(h/t SEC Country)