Maryland's Kevin Barnes is seeing his stock rise with less than two weeks to go until draft day.
Earlier this week, we talked about Cody Brown, an outside linebacker who I like a lot in round three. Today I want to turn my attention to a cornerback that intrigues me a lot and could be a target in round three, though his stock is rising right now. I'm talking about Maryland's Kevin Barnes.
We know the Dolphins have at least mild interest in Barnes. Miami is one of the teams who have held a private workout with the Maryland corner. So for more on Barnes, I've turned to Matt Holohan of Turtle Waxing - a Maryland Terps blog. Below are Kevin's pro day numbers followed by Matt's thoughts on Barnes.
Height: 6'0 1/4" / Weight: 187
40: 4.45 / Arm: 32 1/2"" / Vertical: 41"
Barnes was a two year starter at Maryland and was the number one corner on the team each of those seasons. A fifth year senior, Barnes has good leadership skills and is a very intelligent player. He had one of the highest Wonderlic scores (41) out of any player in the draft and was lauded as almost being an extra coach for his younger teammates after his senior season was cut short by an injury after seven games.
He fractured his shoulder blade against Wake Forest and missed the rest of the season but should be fully recovered by training camp. Barnes isn't tall or particularly big but he has a great vertical jump and is fearless in run support. He injured his shoulder throwing his body into the ball carrier on a running play and with his slight physique it may actually be a problem that he is too physical.
He may struggle against big and physical wide outs but has the speed to stay with most slot or number two receivers. I think Barnes probably projects to a nickelback or a number two corner but could be very effective there. He has a good nose for the ball and decent hands for a corner, as evidenced by his six interceptions and 14 pass break ups in 20 games the last two seasons.
After the California game where he had an interception and knocked Cal running back Jahvid Best out of the game with a wicked hit, few teams wanted to challenge his side of the field. He will also be a very willing and able contributor on special teams coverage for whatever team takes him.
His abilities are probably below recent Maryland corners Domonique Foxworth and Josh Wilson. I think he would be a very nice pickup for a team needing depth in the secondary in the third round.
I want to thank Matt from Turtle Waxing for his thoughts on Barnes. He's got the size and athleticism this regime would love. And I think he's certainly a player to watch for on day two of the draft.