ESPN’s Todd McShay has released his second NFL mock draft, in which he predicts that the Detroit Lions will select Tennessee’s Derek Barnett with the number 21 selection in the first round.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive end was a starter from the very beginning of his tenure with the Tennessee Volunteers and would fit in very well with Detroit, who finished with just 26 sacks and 71 quarterback hurries, both ranking 31st in the NFL last season.
“Barnett isn’t expected to put up big numbers during workouts, which could cause him to fall a bit in between now and late April,” McShay wrote. “But he plays with good discipline, a consistent motor and impressive physicality. His production in the SEC the past three years is insane, including 52 (tackles for loss) and 33 sacks.”
Barnett became the first freshman ever to start on the line for Tennessee in 2014, making 20.5 tackles for loss (leading the SEC) and 10 sacks on the year. He then led Tennessee with 10 more sacks in 2015 and earned a spot on the Associated Press All-Bowl Team with eight tackles and a sack versus Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.
In his junior year, Barnett was a first-team All-SEC pick and first-team All-American by multiple outlets with 18 tackles for loss and 12 sacks (good for sixth in the FBS).