"This was a player that we identified a long time ago as someone who can come in and impact our defense," Sherman said. "He can make a difference in stopping the run. We're excited to be able to get him with this pick."
We like the team we've got coming back, and Nick Barnett is going to be a big part of that and we're excited about that."
Part of Barnett's attraction was his superlative performance in the NFL Combine and individual workouts. His 4.5 40 was among the top LB times turned in at hte combine.
Barnett played safety as a true freshman, then matured into a two-year starter at LB, playing both weakside and strongside. In two seastons as starter, Barnett compiled 194 tackles (121 as a senior) and 26.5 tackles for loss plus eight sacks.
Don't confuse the draft pundits' quiet approach to Barnett with the linebacker's on-field demeanor. He is said to have a "mean streak" and is known for applying wicked hits.
The Insiders.com take on Barnett is:
"With all the talent coming out of the Pac Ten on a yearly basis someone is bound to get overlooked. That player is Oregon State linebacker Nick Barnett, an explosive middle line defender that plays with the same intensity and productivity as did the man he replaced."
Stay tuned to PackerReport.com for all the details, updated throughout the draft.