TJ Barnes Scouting Report

TJ Barnes was one of the two Georgia Tech players who received an invite to this years NFL Combine. By all accounts, he helped himself with his faster than expected 40 time and the rest of his performances. It certainly helps that he measured in at 6′ 6″ and almost 35″ arms. He has some upside, but let’s see exactly where he stands heading into Georgia Tech’s Pro Day on March 14th.

Here are the two videos I will be referencing during this scouting report. The first video is TJ Barnes’ performance against Florida State, who had a pretty good run-blocking offensive line this year. The second video is a compilation of his highlights from 2012. This video should be taken with a grain of salt, but it does show some nice traits of his that he can continue to improve on. Here they are.

Strengths

Let’s take a look at what TJ has done well in his time at Tech and what should get him drafted. His massive size(6′ 6″ and 370 lbs) allows him to be a successful space eater and take on double teams. NFL teams love adding players on their D line who require a double team because they free up space and blockers for the other defenders in the front 7.

After seeing TJ run the 40 at the NFL Combine, it is clear that he is an athlete and has quick feet. In the first video at 1:07, he uses his quick feet to fend off a cut block by the offensive lineman and get into the backfield. Another example of his quickness is at :40 in the same video, where he splits the gap between the C and LG to knock the RB off his path and stop the play.

One of his best attributes is his ability to keep his eyes on the QB and knock passes down at the line of scrimmage. When successful defensive linemen can’t get to the passer, they keep their eyes up and try to swat passes away. The player who does this best in the NFL happens to be the reigning Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt. If you go to :23 and 2:07 in the second video, Barnes shows he is able to time the passes and knock them down.

TJ Barnes

Weaknesses

Successful DT’s in the NFL are able to move the pocket by providing push up the middle. Therefore, lower body strength is extremely important and they should know how to use it. TJ Barnes shows the tendency to get stood up at the line and frequently get pushed back. He doesn’t get low enough on the C and is unable to push the pocket. This is something that can be improved on with better coaching, but it can’t entirely be fixed. His height will make it hard for him to gain leverage, so he will need to improve on his lower body strength.

The other big issue I saw on tape was how easily he can be blocked out of plays. At 2:06 in the first video, Barnes gets absolutely manhandled by the LG, who moves him 10 yards out of the play. This again goes back to leverage at the line and improved lower body strength. He will have a very short career in the NFL if he doesn’t correct these issues in his game, even with the strengths mentioned above.

Overall

Barnes shows some very nice tendencies that are excellent compliments to a DT’s game, but he will need to improve his lower body strength and explosion to ever see an NFL field on Sundays. With that said, he is an above average athlete for his frame and has good quickness. Right now I see TJ as a late round pick in the NFL Draft. I can see a team like the Ravens, Patriots, or 49ers spending a 6th or 7th round pick on him to stash him on their practice squad for a season or two. He will need quite a bit of coaching, but those teams have Pro Bowl DT’s on their roster already and can afford to give him time to develop. He has good upside and that will eventually get him drafted.

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NBA Nightly Update 2/27/13

Will Bynum- Bynum and the Pistons beat the Wizards by one on the road last night and this was Bynum’s first game back since his suspension. He played 14 minutes, but wasn’t productive, going 1-7 from the field and a 3/2 assist to turnover ratio. He should start to play better when he gets back to his regular minutes.

Derrick Favors- If you happened to watch the Hawks-Jazz game last night, you got a great look at Derrick Favors as a starter. Utah’s usual PF Paul Millsap was out for the game, so Favors took his place and had a stat line of 17 points, 15, rebounds,3 assists, and 3 blocks. He made the best of his opportunity and expect to see more performances like that next year when Millsap leaves in FA.

Jarrett Jack- Last night the Warriors played a great game against the Knicks but came up short on the road. Jack didn’t have a great shooting game, but he still scored 14 points off the bench. The real story though was Stephen Curry, who had the most points in an NBA game this season with 54.

Anthony Morrow- Dallas lost on the road last night against the Grizzlies, and Morrow did not see any game action.

Iman Shumpert- Shumpert was on the winning end of the Warriors-Knicks shootout. He started for the Knicks and got 22 minutes of playing time, but he was very inefficient on offense. Shumpert continued to prove why he is a valuable asset to the Knicks, however, by playing great defense and getting 6 steals.

Derrick Favors Sighting

Tonight the Atlanta Hawks go on the road to face the Utah Jazz, which means local fans will get a chance to see Derrick Favors. He is still coming off the bench since the Jazz failed to trade Paul Millsap at the deadline, but he should see some solid playing time tonight. The game is scheduled to start at 9 P.M. and will be on SportSouth. I can’t wait to see how he does against the Hawks’ excellent defensive frontcourt players.

NBA Nightly Update 2/26/13

Chris Bosh- Tonight the Heat won a double OT game at home against the Sacramento Kings. Bosh didn’t have a great shooting night, going 5-13 from the field and scoring 15 points, but he was able to contribute in other ways by posting 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 4 blocks.

Jarrett Jack- Jack has been on an absolute tear lately, but he finally cooled off tonight. The Warriors lost on the road against the Pacers and Jack wasn’t able to contribute tonight. He shot 20% from the field, so hopefully he can get back to the form he has displayed the last few weeks.

Anthony Morrow- Morrow finally got a few minutes for the Mavericks tonight, but it was short lived. In the 4 minutes he got, he went 0-2 from the field. I expect his minutes to increase as he becomes more aware of the offense and starts to heat up.

Thaddeus Young- Young started tonight for the Sixers at SF and played 34 minutes. Unfortunately the Sixers weren’t able to close out the Magic at home. He almost recorded a double-double with 8 points and 10 rebounds in the Sixers’ off night.

Rod Sweeting Running a 4.38 Unofficial

Here’s the video of Rod Sweeting’s second 40 run today where he ran a 4.38 unofficial. The time was eventually changed to a 4.42 official time, however the official time is half electronic and half hand times, so it is hardly perfect. This run surely helped Sweeting’s draft stock as he was able to eliminate some of the criticisms about being too slow.

Rod Sweeting’s Performance At The Combine

Earlier this afternoon Rod Sweeting ran his 40 at the NFL Combine and he made the best of his opportunity. He posted an unofficial 4.40 in his first run and a 4.38 in his second run.

Overall Sweeting has had a very nice day, also posting 37″ in the vertical jump and 10′ 4″ in the broad jump. In his pre combine analysis I stated that he needed to run a fast 40 to help eliminate some of his weaknesses on film. He would consistently get beat deep by receivers, and he needed to prove to scouts that he had the speed to be drafted. Although a fast 40 doesn’t mean he won’t show the same issues when he gets to the next level, it still certainly helps his draft stock.

I think both Tech prospects at the combine this week(TJ Barnes was the other) showed up and helped themselves. They still need to have good pro days to ensure getting drafted, but this was a great start for them and should give them some momentum going forward.

Also, I have a video of Sweeting running his 4.38, but I’m having trouble uploading it, so come back later if you missed it and want to see him run.

TJ Barnes Has Solid Combine

Considering TJ Barnes size, he is already an interesting football prospect in this year’s draft. With his height, weight, long arms, and big hands, he looked like a late round developmental prospect heading into the NFL Combine. There were some nice traits, but he didn’t really perform on tape like you would expect.

After today though, he definitely helped his draft stock. First, Barnes ran an official 5.3 40, which is pretty quick when you consider how much he weighs(370 lbs). Also, his long arms would usually be a hindrance to posting a high rep on bench press. He was able to manage 25 reps of 225 lbs though, which is a good number for him. His vertical and broad jumps were 22 inches and 97 inches respectively, which aren’t very good, but he has a lot of baggage to move.

All in all, he showed better quickness than expected and some nice upper body strength. I wouldn’t expect him to run again at Georgia Tech’s pro day, but I would expect him to increase his bench reps. He managed to increase his draft stock and would be a nice pick by a playoff team with a 3-4 defense who can spend a year or two grooming him as a player.

Will Bynum Suspended Tonight Against Hawks

The NBA has suspended Will Bynum for one game after he punched Tyler Hansbrough in the stomach during Saturday night’s game against the Pacers. Although Tyler Hansbrough is quite annoying, this is still not something I want to see a former Yellow Jacket doing. Let’s hope Bynum learns his lesson from this punch and can move on. Below is a video of the punch that was thrown.

The other unfortunate consequence of the suspension is that we will not be able to see Bynum play against the Hawks tonight. The Hawks play the Pistons at 7:30 and that was the one interesting part of this otherwise boring matchup. This is also the last time the Hawks play the Pistons this year, so we will have to wait until next season to see him on television, since the Pistons won’t get a nationally televised game anytime soon.

TJ Barnes shows up

Today is the day for all of the defensive lineman and linebackers to perform at the NFL Combine, and TJ Barnes certainly ran well. In his first 40 time, he ran a 5.22, which isn’t very fast, until you remember he is 6′ 6″ and 370 lbs. That is very impressive and he received some positive reactions from Mike Mayock and Rich Eisen. To put that run into perspective, the one Georgia DT who ran today, Kwame Geathers, ran a 5.4 40 while being ten pounds less than Barnes. That’s good news for Barnes, as teams looking for a big run stuffing NT may look at him as a late option in the draft. I’ll post some of Barnes’ other measurables later today since he’ll probably do almost everything, being a potential late round pick.

Notable Friday Night NBA Performances

Last night saw two former Georgia Tech stars go off. Jarrett Jack, in a primetime game on ESPN, shot 11-22 from the field and posted 30 points, 10 assists, and 3 rebounds in 42 minutes of play. Jack provided a late game spark for the Warriors after hitting a couple clutch shots. Although he is coming off the bench, he is turning into one of the better pure PGs in the league. The other impressive performance of the night was from Will Bynum. Although his team was got blown out, he still shot 7-12 from the field and scored 17 points in 22 minutes. That is great news for Bynum since he will be looking for more playing time while Brandon Knight misses time with an injury.