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Posts tagged with "Derek Barnett"

Tennessee linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin’s injury concerns didn’t matter to the Detroit Lions, who took him in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft.

There were questions about Jalen Reeves-Maybin‘s NFL draft status after he missed most of his senior season with a shoulder injury.

The former Tennessee star linebacker’s talent answered them, though.

The Detroit Lions selected Reeves-Maybin, an All-SEC performer and team captain for the Vols, in the middle of the fourth round with the 124th overall pick on Saturday afternoon.

Reeves-Maybin starred on special teams as a freshman for the Vols in 2013 before becoming a defensive stalwart as a sophomore. He recorded two straight seasons with at least 100 tackles to lead Tennessee in the category in both seasons. In 2015 Reeves-Maybin recorded 105 tackles, six sacks, 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four pass break-ups.

After electing to return to Tennessee instead of entering the draft last season, Reeves-Maybin endured a final season to forget.

He underwent shoulder surgery last spring and was ejected in the first half of the season opener against Appalachian State. He made 13 tackles in Tennessee’s win against Virginia Tech before hurting his shoulder against Ohio while covering a punt. He tried to play the following week against Florida, but couldn’t go and wound up undergoing another surgery.

At the NFL scouting combine in March, Reeves-Maybin only did position-specific drills, but he showed more of what he can do with a strong showing at Tennessee’s pro day.

Reeves-Maybin became the fourth Tennessee player taken in the 2017 draft after defensive end Derek Barnett (14th overall), running back Alvin Kamara (67th) and Cameron Sutton (94th).

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The Bengals have a lot of options with the No. 9 overall pick, but none of those options are better than what the former Volunteer could bring to the Cincinnati defense.

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Bengals are in an interesting position for the 2017 NFL Draft. For only the fourth time in the last 13 years, the team will enjoy the bittersweet luxury of having a top 10 overall pick in the Draft. The Bengals had to suffer through a rough 2016 season to acquire that pick, but now they look ready to patch up their roster and hope for better results in 2017. For that reason, it is crucial that the club takes advantage of its draft positioning and uses the pick on the best possible player.

The Bengals have a particularly pressing need at defensive end. Top defensive end prospects like Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas are virtually guaranteed to be off the board by the time the Bengals pick at No. 9, although they are the only defensive ends expected to be taken that early. That leaves Taco Charlton, Derek Barnett, Takkarist McKinley and Tim Williams for the Bengals to consider, based on most consensus top ranked defensive endrankings. I would personally cast my vote for Barnett as being the best fit for the Bengals with the No. 9 pick.

While it is tough to find two scouts who agree on Barnett, he is a playmaking, athletic defensive end with a vicious punch, elite vision and awareness, and positional fluidity that allows him to thrive in every situation. Unfortunately, some questions about his slow starts and lack of pre-snap discipline show clear weaknesses that will more than likely scare off teams with top five picks.

The Bengals won’t have access to top five prospects, so they will be doing their research on Barnett. That includes attending his pro day last week and sending both defensive line coach Jacob Burney and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther to his pro day. With a 32 1/8 inch arm span, Barnett’s length could and has been argued to flag him more as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the NFL level. The Bengals use a 4-3 defense, in which they’d want to use him as a defensive end, but one way or the other, his incredible pass rush ability should translate to great things for the Bengals’ defense.

At this point, it seems that Michael Johnson’s future with the Bengals is limited if he does not improve from his recent form. Furthermore, the Bengals officially ended the Margus Hunt experiment this offseason, allowing him to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. If the Bengals play their cards right, they can bring Barnett in to fill Hunt’s vacant backup role while bringing him along to replace Johnson, who can be easily released as early as 2018.

Selecting Barnett would be a bit of a gamble for a Bengals team that would prefer to have a longer player who can sit farther out on the defensive line. But, with both of the top two defensive end prospects likely out of the Bengals’ reach and a need for an injection of talent at the position, it seems like a risk worth taking. A combination of Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and Derek Barnett on the same defensive line could turn out to be one of the most dangerous attacks in the NFL. If Andrew Billings reaches the potential thought possible of him, the Bengals’ defensive line could really be scary and would immediately put every quarterback in the AFC North (outside of Cincinnati) on notice.

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The Washington Redskins enter the 2017 season with solid pass rushers in Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith,Trent Murphy and even the returning Junior Galette.

But could the group get a boost out of the University of Tennessee’s new sack king?

In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke has the Redskins tapping defensive end Derek Barnett with the No. 17-overall pick.

“There is more of a need in Washington for help between the tackles than another edge presence,” Burke writes. “Barnett, though, is strong enough and active enough to play hand in the dirt up front at times, which would max out how many athletes the Redskins can get on the field in their front seven.”

The mock draft is of the three-round variety, as Burke also has Washington selecting Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson in the second round and Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya in the third round.

Back to Barnett. The 6-foot-3, 265 racked up accolades with ease during his three seasons with the Volunteers. His 33 sacks set a new school record that was previously set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White (32 in 1983).

Barnett finished his junior season with 56 tackles, 13 sacks, five passes defensed and two fumbles forced. He was named a first-team All-American selection by the Associated Press. He was also earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week nods four times.

During his sophomore season in 2015, the Nashville, Tenn., native was an All-SEC second-team selection, as he finished the year with 69 tackles and 10 sacks.

Barnett was named Grantland National Rookie of the Year in 2014, as he totaled 10 sacks in his debut season at Tennessee. He recorded two three-sack games that season.

According to his NFL.com draft profile, Barnett has “hands are strong, fast, efficient and lethal.”

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