Mark Barron

Draft Grades: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This was a potential franchise changing draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They made the wise decision to move back in the 1st round, which allowed them to acquire the picks necessary to move back up in the late 1st and come away with a huge haul on day one of the draft.

The Bucs passed up the opportunity to land Morris Claiborne, but still upgraded their secondary with the addition of Mark Barron. The Bucs should still be worried about their cornerbacks, but Barron will be a fun weapon for defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan to use. He’s a versatile player who can be effective when lining up all over the field.

Doug Martin was arguably the most underrated player in this draft class and the Bucs got an absolute steal in the late 1st round. He’s the next star undersized running back, following in the footsteps of Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew.

I wasn’t as high on Lavonte David as most, but he’s a perfect fit in Tampa. They’re one of the few teams that doesn’t mind using smaller, more athletic linebackers and David fits the mold perfectly. He’ll start at weak-side linebacker from day one.

Najee Goode will add some depth, and can play strong-side or inside linebacker, but he real value may be on special teams.

Keith Tandy adds some depth at cornerback, but I’m a little surprised they waited this long to address the position. They’re putting a lot of faith in Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib, and that’s a risky decision.

Michael Smith could prove to be a steal in the 7th round. I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith takes over the backup job from LeGarrette Blount before the season is over.

Drake Dunsmore can play tight end or fullback. He’ll have to battle for a job in training camp with a number of players at both positions.

The Bucs didn’t get much help on the third day of the draft and failed to upgrade their situation at cornerback, but that’s the only think holding them back from an A+. This was a phenomenal haul for a franchise that was in need of a boost. Considering the fact that the Falcons and Saints did very little to help themselves this offseason, the Bucs closed the gap in the NFC South in a big way.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Buccaneers, Draft Grades - 2012 Comments Off

Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Mark Barron, Grade A

I love everything about this for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yes, Morris Claiborne is a better prospect than Mark Barron. And yes, cornerback is a more glaring need. However, strong safety is a significant issue as well (he’ll replace Larry Asante) and they picked up extra picks in the process.

This is a slight reach for Barron, which is why I give it an A rather than A+, but if they traded down much further he may not have gotten past the Bills at No. 10. Barron will start from day one, and immediately be one of the few impact players on the Bucs defense.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Buccaneers Comments Off

Eagles prepared to trade up

It seems like everyone wants to trade down this year, but the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the few looking to move up in the draft. The Eagles are reportedly very high on both Mark Barron and Fletcher Cox, and neither player figures to be on the board at No. 15.

Not only are the Eagles interested in moving up, but they also have more than enough ammunition to make it happen. With two 2nd round picks, the Eagles could easily climb into the top 10. They may view the Jaguars as a desirable trade partner in an effort to jump ahead of the Panthers.

The Eagles clearly believe they are a player or two away from being legitimate contenders, which could force them to part with a nice package of picks in order to move up to get their guy.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft 1 Comment

Texans looking to upgrade secondary

The Houston Texans typically don’t use their pre-draft visits on highly rated players, so there’s usually very little we can learn from their list of visits. However, an interesting trend seems to be developing this year.

Of the Texans 10 visits/workouts we’ve learned of, six of the players are defensive backs (three corners, three safeties).

None of the prospects will be 1st-round picks, with the highest rated player likely being Boise State safety George Iloka, but it’s likely more than just coincidence that the Texans are studying up on so many defensive backs.

Given this trend, and the Texans recent struggles with their secondary, it’s hard to imagine them not addressing the position at some point on draft day. And while none of the reported visits will be 1st-round targets, it’s worth considering the possibility that they may address that need early in the draft, possibly with strong safety Mark Barron in the 1st round.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Texans Comments Off

Mark Barron scouting report

Mark Barron S Alabama #4
Ht: 6’1″

Wt: 220

Strengths:
Impressive size and strength. Plays a hybrid position for Alabama, lining up all over the field. Used in a variety of roles and has shown the ability to be an incredibly versatile player. Experienced lining up as a free and strong safety, and also lining up closer to the line of scrimmage, essentially acting as an extra linebacker. Has the speed and strength to be effective when blitzing. Hard hitter; has the ability to jar the ball lose. Decent ball skills. Does a great job reading the quarterback and putting himself in position to make a play when in the role of a centerfielder. Height gives him an advantage over most safeties when lined up close to the line of scrimmage, allowing him to see into the backfield; does a great job keeping his eyes on the ball carrier and putting himself in position to make plays.
Weaknesses:
Inconsistent tackler; overagressive at times, going for the big hit rather than the wrap-up tackle. Speed is adequate, but nothing special; will struggle with some man coverage assignments at the next level. Missed time in 2010 with a torn pectoral muscle. Arrested in 2010 for “hindering prosecution” for his role in a car accident.
Comments:
Barron is the cream of the crop at safety in this year’s class. When watching Alabama’s defense, Barron’s versatility immediately stands out, as he lines up all over the field. His experience as a leader in Nick Saban’s defense will make him an attractive late 1st or early 2nd-round option for teams looking to fill an immediate hole at strong safety. His lack of elite athleticism puts him a tier below recent top draft picks such as Eric Berry and Earl Thomas, but he still projects as a quality starter with Pro Bowl potential.
Videos:
2011 vs LSU

 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off