I realize Garrett is viewed as the best player in this draft class, but that does NOT mean he is the best IDP player. If you play in a sack-heavy scoring system, Garrett is a very intriguing prospect. Yet, I believe Barnett is the complete package.
I know I should not be enamored by one play. However, on one of Barnett’s highlight reels, there is a play where he basically drops back into pass coverage (or about five yards off the line of scrimmage). Then, the opposing offense tries a screen pass to their tight end (TE) in the flat – and Barnett sniffs it out and buries the TE. Again, it’s just one play, but it tells so much about his ability to read and react on the fly. It also showcases a level of maturity that the rawer Garrett cannot necessarily duplicate.
Barnett produces this massive thunder from his wide thighs that I truthfully have not seen since the days of Reggie White. He is also well-rounded enough to be a beast versus the run. Garrett is definitely a quick-twitch type of player, yet I believe Barnett can produce more consistently than Garrett who will be beholden to his sack total primarily. Barnett even averaged 5.1 tackles per game while Garrett averaged a whole tackle less (at 4.1). Barnett also recorded 31 career sacks versus power five schools while Garrett produced only 15 sacks versus power five competition. Why the difference in numbers you ask? Is it possible that Garrett was surrounded by more talent? If so, will he be able to rise for whatever bad team drafts him in the top five picks?
Garrett is being labeled as scheme-friendly, which means he is far more likely to be burdened with an LB designation. Barnett feels like a lot safer bet to remain at DE. Garrett’s long scampering legs could scream OLB to the Browns or whoever drafts him. Basically, we know what Barnett is (a rock solid 4-3 DE), and since he looks to get drafted beyond “the best player available point,” he should get dropped into the right situation for him and his future IDP accolades.
Again for you sack-heavy players, Garrett looks like “the real deal” pass-rusher extraordinaire. Yet please remember these annual 15-sack guys take time to develop, sometimes three or four years. Barnett already has an edge-setter mentality and the know-how. Garrett and his long legs sometimes get caught upfield. NFL teams will exploit those who over-pursue and tackles will slip through Garrett’s fingers.
When evaluating rookies, I often fall back on what I believe their ADP will be. At this point, Garrett is getting some end-of-the-first-round buzz. That would be a ridiculous pick to use on a player who plays a position that takes an average of three years to develop. Let them drink that poison Kool-Aid I say. I will take OJ Howard, Curtis Samuel, Reuben Foster or Jamal Adams. Based on the Twitter poll I recently ran, Barnett is NOT even close to Garrett as an IDP prospect in the eyes of many of the IDP experts I know and trust:
I will gladly wait until at least the mid-3rd round of rookie drafts to select Derek Barnett. Do not be a slave to Myles Garrett’s freakish combine results. Let your league mates reach for the stars too soon.