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This is Matt McGuire's NFL Draft blog, where he'll talk about the NFL Draft, anything that has to do with football and whatever else is on his mind.
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Posted Oct. 30, 2009

Player to Watch

A source close to the league recently told me to keep my eye on LSU right tackle Joseph Barksdale. I haven't had a ton of time to evaluate juniors this season on tape, but I did happen to record the LSU-Auburn game from last Saturday.

All I have to say is Barksdale might have Ryan Clady-type upside. Now, this was only one game and I don't put a player in my top 20 in the nation overnight, but all I am saying is for draftniks to keep an eye on this talented player.

Why was I so impressed with Barksdale?

I didn't get a chance to evaluate his agility or athleticism all game, but this wasn't his fault. He wasn't really challenged against Auburn because he dominated for the three quarters (2nd to 4th) of tape that I watched.

His footwork might be up there with Russell Okung's. He does a great job of taking very short, sudden steps. He has outstanding balance. I love his ability to dip his hips, get into a wide base, and just absolutely dominate with technique.

In pass protection, when Barksdale locked on, the battle was over.

Don't be shocked if Barksdale moves over to the left side since he is clearly a better prospect than Ciron Black - who has played like a late-round prospect this season.

I love Barksdale's technique and he definitely caught my attention. He didn't use his size (6-5, 315) or athleticism to dominate. He dominated by focusing mentally, using textbook footwork, staying low to the ground, and dominating the right side of the line for nearly ever play I watched.

Keep an eye on this prospect - I was right about Russell Okung when I put on his sophomore tape against Texas A&M. I might be right about Barksdale.





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