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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Michael Barrett (LB – Michigan)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Michael Barrett (LB – Michigan)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Michigan linebacker Michael Barrett.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Michael Barrett

Michael Barrett (LB – Michigan)

6’0″ – 239 lbs.

Background:

Three-star recruit who was a 200-pound quarterback coming out. Redshirted, then played sparingly on offense, defense, and as a return specialist in 2019, then recorded 43 tackles in the shortened 2020 season, starting all six games. Lost his starting job the next year (21 tackles), then regained it the following year and finished with 72-5.0-3.5, adding two interceptions. Posted 65-3.5-3.0 this year.

Positives:

Team captain with three years of starting experience in a major program. Has added a lot of bulk since arriving in school and has a strong frame. Plays the game with a sense of urgency. Has quick feet and the suddenness/flexibility to slip blockers and get to the ball when defending between the tackles. Does a good job of keeping his shoulders square to the line. Aggressively attacks blocks with good extension and knee-bend; shows good physicality to step into the hole and take on blockers, and you can hear the pads clicking on contact. Has the short-area quickness to chase down backs trying to win the edge on outside rushes, and offers a solid motor when pursuing out toward the sidelines. Stays disciplined on the back side. Has some pop as a tackler. Nice balance and footwork when backpedaling to depth in zone coverage. Uses his hands to feel routes when defending opposing tight ends. Looks pretty fluid flipping his hips in coverage. Looks fast when blitzing up the A-gap, and can blow up running backs in the backfield.

Negatives:

Will turn 25 years old in December. Frame is probably maxed out, and isn’t the tallest or longest linebacker prospect, either, which could impact how effective he is against tight ends at the next level. Would like to see him trust his instincts a little bit more and show more decisiveness. Can struggle to disengage when opposing blockers get into his frame. Doesn’t have the widest tackling radius, and doesn’t always take the most efficient angle, causing him to miss some attempts. Didn’t see him shaded over many opposing slot receivers during the games reviewed; was used as more of a between-the-tackles player.

Summary:

A likable linebacker prospect with three years of starting experience, good short-area quickness, a physical and energetic temperament, and some explosive traits. He’s a bit older than your typical prospect. It’d be nice to see him play with a little bit more anticipation and decisiveness, but he has the look of a pretty good between-the-tackles run defender with polished technique in coverage. The top of this year’s linebacker class isn’t the strongest, but there is a pretty deep set of mid-round choices; that seems like where he’ll end up.

Projection: Round 4-5

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