By Kip Earlywine
Projected 40: 4.53
- Good concentration + nice habit of securing ball first
- Decent size, nice WR physique
- Fast downhill runner, good 2nd gear
- Jumpballer: leaps high and locates well
- Some good intangibles, can improvise to get open
- Productive, experienced
- Stiff runner, horizontal movement looks slow
- Not a good blocker (source)
- May or may not have the speed to match deep ball skill set.
- Played in an unconventional offense that inflated stats, in the MAC.
Freddy Barnes is probably going to be drafted in rounds 5-7. As such, it was really difficult to find much footage on him. These previews tend to give incomplete information and should be taken with a grain of salt, in this case, a bit more so. Sometimes I just don't have enough information to even form an initial impression, so in those cases I google scouting reports and fill in the gaps with those. That will become increasingly necessary as I preview later and later round prospects.
I didn't try to evaluate Barnes route running simply because I couldn't see enough to be sure, but if I had to guess, I'd say his route running is probably at least above average. He was getting a lot of separation on hooks and slants, and its probably a good indicator as well that he once had 22 catches in a single game (and averaged 13 catches a game last year). His stats were inflated, but its probably safe to say that getting open is a strength for Barnes.
If I had to make a clumsy comparison, I'd compare Barnes to DJ Hackett but with a better frame. Hackett was a great route runner who like Djack had a knack for getting open, but he was also a surprisingly good deep threat and showed tremendous intangibles and concentration. Hackett is 6'2", 208. Hackett was also a bit of a proven catch machine for Colorado but fell to the 5th round because of measurables. Unfortunately for Hackett, injuries ruined his career and he was ultimately just a very good #4. That's kind of how I see Barnes. He's probably a very good #4 for some team, and if everything breaks right, he could be a quality #2. He's a decent fit for our front offices desire for big WR, so he could be an option in the late rounds.