Getting to Know: Don Barclay

Packer Report talked to undrafted free agent Don Barclay, a three-year starter and first-team all-Big East selection at left tackle as a senior at West Virginia.

In Part 1 of Know Your UDFAs, we introduce you to ....

Name: Don Barclay.

College: West Virginia.

Position: Left tackle.

Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 305 pounds.

Scout Dave-Te' Thomas' grade: 4.6.

Career highlights: Barclay redshirted in 2007, was a reserve guard in 2008 and started all 13 games in each of his final three seasons. He was first-team all-Big East as a senior.

Don Barclay hoped his phone would ring during the final rounds of the NFL Draft on Saturday. When it didn't, choosing Green Bay was a relatively easy decision.

While the Packers didn't bring him in for a predraft visit or put him through an on-campus workout, they kept in regular contact with Barclay and agent Joe Linta before the draft. Given Green Bay's unsettled offensive line and history of undrafted free agents making the team, Barclay thought the Packers were a good fit. He chose Green Bay between five or six other offers.

"I got a few calls in the sixth round and some more in the seventh, but when I wasn't drafted, me and Joe sat down and talked about my options," Barclay said. "We looked at the opportunity there with their line and thought it'd be a great fit and give me the best chance of contributing."

Barclay, who was too big to get under peewee football weight limits, didn't start playing football until seventh grade.

"I played basketball and baseball," he said. "I was a big baseball fan and played it all the way to 10th grade. I thought I would play it in college until I started to get interest and scholarship offers to play football. That's when I really started to love football."

At West Virginia, Barclay was a three-year starter at left tackle but has the versatility to make the team as a "swing" lineman. As with most young linemen with the Packers, Barclay will be asked to play here, there and everywhere.

Versatility, after all, is paramount for an offensive lineman, since teams generally only have seven active on game days.

He's also proven to be a quick learner.

At West Virginia, there were three head coaching changes and three offensive line coaches. In 2011, the Mountaineers ranked sixth in the nation in passing while throwing the ball about 57 percent of the time. In 2010, the Mountaineers ran the ball about 58 percent of the time, and in 2009, they an the ball about 60 percent of the time.

"As a senior, we passed the ball a lot, so I'd say the strength to my game is pass protection," Barclay said. "I feel like I made big strides in pass protection this past season under Coach (Bill) Bedenbaugh."

The changes in systems will come in handy in Green Bay, with its combination of zone- and power-blocking schemes in the run game.

"We did a lot of zone blocking this season," he added. "Before that, we did a lot of downhill, power. I like to get after people."

Barclay's versatility will give him a decent shot at making the roster. Last year, undrafted rookie Ray Dominguez made the final roster and fellow undrafted rookie Sampson Genus spent the year on the practice squad. Evan Dietrich-Smith entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2009. Another undrafted player, Chris Campbell, has spent most of two seasons on the practice squad. Moreover, the Packers released veteran Chad Clifton and added only one lineman in the draft, Florida State's Andrew Datko in the seventh round.

Barclay is confident he belongs.

"I'm going to go there and work as hard as I can," he said. "I just want to get into the playbook, show them what I can do and contribute in any way I can."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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