Barrett Just Needs An Opportunity

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Coming from a virtually unknown school, Nebraska-Omaha’s Shaq Barrett transferred in 2010 to Colorado State University after Nebraska-Omaha cut its football program. Playing for Colorado State, Barrett started 35 of 38 games from 2011-2013, he accumulated 245 tackles, 18 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. He was their “do it all”!

In 2013 Barrett was named the Mountain West conference Defensive Player of the Year. At 6’2 250lbs, this fifth year pro has everything you could ask for. The only thing he has lacked thus far is opportunity.

Barrett played well and showed value when seeing playing time in Denver. However those opportunities are few and far between while playing behind the likes of 2018 5th overall draft pick Bradley Chubb and future Hall of Famer Von Miller.

Behind Miller, one would hope, He has picked up some of his behaviors and habits. Barrett does have a great work ethic and a “winning” pedigree as he was a member of Denver’s “Super Bowl 50” Championship team.

After watching the film that was available from his college days and his limited playing time in Denver I have compiled a short list. One that comprises what I think are Barrett’s strengths and a couple of his weaknesses.

Barrett is a smart football player, very instinctive and is quick to find the ball. He has an explosive first step from both the two and three point stance. However in a two point stance he often short steps. This causes him to come up a little higher in the pads.

He’s also very flexible and uses that as an advantage to bend the edge and dip his shoulders under their blockers hand placement. He plays well under the pads with great punch and leverage. He also shows solid footwork with decent speed which allows him to drop well into coverage.

Much like McCoy in that his first step is so explosive and aggressive it often leaves him out of position. I saw him get caught up in the muck on a few occasions. That left him susceptible for naked bootlegs and reverses.

His closing speed in the open field leaves something to be desired. I’m not by any means saying he is slow. Many times it could be as simple as adjusting to pursue the angle. Under DC Todd Bowles I believe we will see No. 58 playing as a pass rush specialist.

Written by: Mike SeDoris

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