After being the most productive defensive end in Tennessee history, it wasn’t surprising to see the Philadelphia Eagles take Derek Barnett No. 14 overall in the NFL Draft.
Now, according to NFL.com, Barnett has a chance to be one of the most productive defensive rookies in the NFL in 2017. Barnett was ranked fourth in a poll of NFL.com analysts who voted on who they think it the most likely to win Defensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL.
“Perhaps it’s fitting that the pass rusher who broke Reggie White’s Tennessee record for career sacks landed with an NFL club that White once played for,” the article states. “He’ll fit in even better if he can give the Eagles the same heat on quarterbacks that he provided the Volunteers. Barnett has been praised for refined technique and advanced use of his hands as a pass rusher. With such a polished game, a quick impact won’t be a surprise.”
Topping the list is Texas A&M defensive end, and No. 1 overall pick, Myles Garrett, who will be counted on to revamp a Cleveland defense. Barnett and Garrett were oft compared at the collegiate level, with Barnett having the upper hand in total productivity between the two. But Garrett was the top choice of NFL analysts and scouts for his superior measurables and athleticism that may project him as a better pro player.
That very well may only fuel Barnett’s desire to be a better pro, however.
Garrett, Jamal Adams (Jets), Malik Hooker (Colts), Barnett, Haason Reddick (Cardinals) and Reuben Foster (49ers) were the top six on the list.