Utah LB Lander Barton Graded Highly in Preseason

Rolled Newspaper bearing title: "NFL HOT PRESS"

Certain positions, including linebackers, are unlikely to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Thus, many good linebackers are pushed lower to a second-day projection. One linebacker who has impressed advanced scouts for the 2025 NFL Draft is Utah’s Lander Barton. After LSU linebacker Harold Perkins, Barton came out with a high second-round projection from NFL advanced scouts.



The 6-foot-3, 233-pound Barton flashed ability with the Utes in 2022 and 2023. However, he missed a lot of the 2023 season, so it is a surprise that he still received a high second-round projection. Barton played well last fall before a right foot injury ended his season after seven games. In six games and part of a seventh, Barton had 34 tackles with two interceptions, a forced fumble, and two passes broken up. The previous season he had 46 tackles with 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass broken up.



The advance scouts list Barton as an outside linebacker and potential edge rusher like Perkins. They do not project Barton as a middle linebacker in the NFL. However, he has the size to be a middle linebacker and could be a versatile defender who is cross-trained to play various positions in the middle of the defense. Even in limited sample size, Barton has impressed the advanced scouts and is definitely a prospect to watch for the 2025 NFL Draft.