Part two of our New to the Nest series features the exciting first-round prospect Derek Barnett.
Bio/Contract: The Eagles selected defensive end Derek Barnett with their first selection in the home-town draft that took place back in April. Many wanted the Eagles to move up or down in the first round, but the front office ultimately stayed with the 14th selection, and picked a very productive player. After signing his rookie deal on June 1st, which is reportedly a four-year deal worth $12.8 million, Barnett will sport Bennie Logan’s old number of 96.
College Career: Barnett was a superstar during his three years at Tennessee. He never missed a game, playing in all 13 since his freshman season. During his college career, Barnett dominated the line of scrimmage in the toughest conference in college football, the SEC. Barnett was active in stopping the ball carrier, getting to the quarterback, and even forced a few turnovers as evident by his career stats highlighted below.
Projection: When it comes to 2017, we expect Derek Barnett to be a solid player, above-average rookie, but still struggle at times as he picks up the tendencies of the professional competition. One thing we can count on, is his availability based on his college career. Expect Barnett to be part of a rotation between veterans Chris Long, Vinny Curry, and Brandon Graham to start the season. However, it is possible, Barnett becomes the starter after the week 10 bye.
His ability to set the edge in the run game, and get after the quarterback will be something to look for as his career progresses. We expect his rookie stat line to look something like this:
It may be a bit high, but the way Barnett has progressed in the offseason activities has drawn attention from the coaching staff and veterans of the team. Both Lane Jonson and Jason Peters have commented on Barnett’s ability, expressing “He got me a couple of times today.” 2017 should be a fun one for Derek Barnett.
- Part three of the series will be released on 6/27 and feature new corner back Patrick Robinson.