Derek Barnett’s NFL Draft stock appears to be rising.
The junior defensive end, who has recorded 32 tackles, 11.5 TFLs, six sacks, a forced fumble and an interception thus far in 2016, is up to No. 3 overall in Pro Football Focus’s midseason draft board.
“While Barnett may not have the classic edge rusher look that (Texas A&M DE Myles) Garrett possesses, he’s been just as productive during their paralleled careers,” PFF wrote. “Barnett brings power in the running game and he simply knows how to get to the quarterback as his pass-rush grade has improved every season. His three-year totals now sit at 27 sacks, 28 QB hits and 89 hurries, rivaling Garrett step for step.”
Tennessee defensive line coach Steve Stripling said on Tuesday that he would fully endorse Barnett to any NFL scout.
“Absolutely,” Stripling said when asked if Barnett will be a good pro. “I tell NFL guys, ‘You want this guy on your team.'”
Garrett is listed as No. 1 on the PFF midseason draft board, while Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen, who just played against Tennessee on Saturday, is listed as No. 2.
PFF listed Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor as the No. 7 overall prospect, but noted that he does have a propensity to bite on the double-move. They used Jauan Jennings’ touchdown reception against him as an example of him doing just that.