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Miami Dolphins NFL Draft Prospect: Tennessee Vols DE Derek Barnett

The Miami Dolphins need a pass-rusher to compliment Cam Wake. Is Derek Barnett their guy?

A name that has been cemented in the Top 20 of this year's NFL Draft is Tennessee Volunteers  DE Derek Barnett.

The junior pass rusher has played in every game of his college career, and has posted great numbers in one of the league's best conferences. 

Barnett has 32 total sacks, including 13 his junior year, to go with 198 total tackles, an INT, and 3 forced fumbles. Barnett is stout against the run, and CBS Sports describes him as displaying "persistent effort in pursuit to chase down ballcarriers from the backside. Extremely alert football player with above average run awareness, seeing through blockers to locate the ball. Smart reads to disrupt throwing lanes, knocking down five passes in 2016 and notching his first interception."

Barnett would be the perfect young DE for the Miami Dolphins to take at 22nd overall, should he slide out of the Top 20. Adding pass rushers to learn under Cameron Wake in his final seasons is vital for this organization moving forward, and Barnett has the skills to start immediately as a rookie. 

Barnett isn't the fastest of the strongest, but his wide shoulder width and his motor are what separates him from other pass rushers in the draft. Despite not having the most explosive first step off the edge, Barnett refuses to give up on plays, and has the closing speed to chase after mobile QB's. His desire on every play is almost unparalleled in this draft class.

Given the Miami Dolphins age of their current DE's, bringing in Barnett would be considered a no-brainer should he drop to 22nd in the draft. Having him match-up one of the best Dolphins' pass rushers of all time would give this defense the 1-2 punch the have lacked at the position for some time.


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