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2008 NFL Draft -- Denver Selects SS, Josh Barrett

I'm not much for giving grades, but I would say that so far the draft has stacked up in the A-B range.  But this pick is the first that I really want to like but just can't get too enthusiastic about.

Its a shame too, because like HT I really like the safety position and would love to see Denver take it very seriously.

First off, this is the second pick that seems more suitable to a cover-2 type of defense.  I suppose if Denver feels like the Jack Williams pick and this pick can outlive Champ and Bly's stay in Denver that they migh find more value instituting a cover-2 scheme.  But this is a question for HT to address.  I would just like to look at some of the things I like about Barrett and some of the things that bother me.

I like that he is a safety that can play well in the box, since I'm with Shanny that you need one safety up to stop the run (especailly with our great man corners) and that will free you up to back him off later and get after the QB once the offense is one dimensional.  Barrett also is a smart player with aabsolutely ideal size, speed and range for a safety.  He is a fast closer with good hips and great body control.  He reads receivers well and and can jump routes, but is a little too aggressive, and is susceptible to fakes, look offs and play-action.

Unfortuantely, I view Barrett as a bit of a workout warrior, who's good timed scores aren't really reflected in his on field speed, but he is definitely adequately fast for a safety.  You wonder if he can pour on a little more, and for that reason I get a little excited about this pick, since there weren't any significant cahracter risks, but there could be some unrealized potential.  I really wish he was a better tackler, but in college he did play well as a gunner on STs, so it is possible that could be where he steps in and tries to make an impact early.

I'm with a lot of MHR faithful that think that Barrett looks really good, even if a little risky, but I am probably in the minority when I say that I worry too much about the number of injuries he has had (right shoulder separation, right shoulder contusion, pectoral muscle strain, quad contusion, knee sprain...).  Its not so much the injuries as the fact that too often the injuries would sideline him for ends of games and then multiple games following.  In fact, the shoulder separation kept him out of football for a full year.  For all of his football smarts and skills he just has never put together a complete package on the field.

Kudos to Denver for not underachieving at an attempt to land an impact safety in this draft, and I will be more than happy to back Barrett's rise to prominence, but this is one pick that I am not holding my breath on.  For a seventh round pick, it is almost unfair to complain, especially as the pick wasn't made in a vaccuum, so for all intents and purposes, I like the pick.

But I can't shake the feeling that this one is going to slip through Denver's fingers.