Many were surprised when Khalif Barnes slid into the late part of round two before being scooped up by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The reason is simple, if you stay to the basics of scouting (which we did not in this case).
Sources have told us that, though Barnes looked terrific at the Senior Bowl and grades well athletically, he does not stand out on film. Many thought Barnes should have been more dominant and played at a higher level in college. There was a concern he got beat too much on Saturdays, and though some attribute it to poor coaching, the feeling is Barnes was capable of more and did not show consistent drive or determination.
The Tennessee Titans rated Barnes as a late first-round choice and were ready to trade for a second selection in the late part of round one to grab him. That is until a conversation yielded the opinion that Michael Roos would be a better player three years down the road. Some in the organization thought, had the Eastern Washington star attended an I-A school, he would have been the first tackle drafted.
One who took a mighty slide was Ernest Shazor. The former Michigan safety, signed today by the Arizona Cardinals, was labeled as a "long-legged, knock-kneed college player who cannot run" by many scouts.
Brandon Browner was labeled in similar fashion, though there is more to his story. Besides a few character issues, sources we spoke with called Browner "disruptive" and "not well-liked," which pushed him out of the seven rounds. Browner was offered several free agent contracts but signed with the Denver Broncos, who will use him at safety.
There is still much debate as to why Marcus Lawrence went undrafted. Suffering through an injury-plagued senior campaign, Lawrence had a damaged groin muscle, which may have been part of the reason.
Teammate George Gause suffered from something else, an underachieving senior season which concerned many and pushed him out of the seven rounds.
Durability issues and age did in Kay-Jay Harris. Several lower-rated running backs were selected ahead of Harris, who signed with Miami today.
An interesting story is that of Tony Ficklin. The explosive athlete who turned in a great pro day workout and a player who many thought would move from his defensive end position to outside linebacker for a 34 defense signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers, who plan to use him as fullback.
Who slipped and why
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