In 2016, Barnett totaled 56 tackles with 19 for a loss, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, five passes broken up and one interception. He came up with huge performances to help Tennessee earn comeback wins over Georgia and Florida. Barnett also beat Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson for a strip-sack. Barnett consistently put a lot of pressure on the quarterback in 2016. As a prospect, scouting sources say that Barnett is very similar to Shaq Lawson, who ended up being a top-20 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
In 2015, Barnett recorded 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks. Those 10 sacks matched his extremely impressive freshman season for the Volunteers. 2014, which saw him set freshman records at Tennessee, also saw him rack up 72 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss. Barnett (6-3, 268) is a fast edge defender and a natural pass-rusher, who clearly has a ton of upside.
The best traits that Barnett illustrates are an ability to sink his hips and dip under tackles to get leverage before chasing down the quarterback. Barnett bends extremely well and has enough lower body strength to stay up with tackles pressing down on him. Barnett's hands are very good for a college player, too. He also shows a nice ability to use his hands and feet at the same time.
In the ground game, Barnett is a solid defender. He has room for improvement, yet isn't a liability. Barnett could wear down in the NFL, however, and should continue to work on his strength in order to be a run stopper as a professional.
Barnett has other areas to improve. He is a little stiff in the open field with redirection, so that is one area to get better at. Most importantly for the NFL, Barnett should work on building up a repertoire of pass-rushing moves. He needs to develop a spin move, a rip move, and maybe a club move - if he adds strength. Barnett is too reliant on using speed and trying to dip under offensive tackles. In the NFL, he's going to need more than that.
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