Baraka Atkins   DE/DT   Miami

 

STRENGTHS 

Baraka has good size and quickness; heís played more than one position on the defensive line.  He is a perfect fit for the new 1-gap attack D-linemen that some of the teams in the NFL are looking for now.  He shows solid techniques and does a good job using his hands.  With his quickness, he might be able to be used as a strong side defensive end in a 4-3 defense also.  Baraka demonstrates leadership qualities through his play on the field and with his talent and multi-dimensional experience, you would think that he would be rated higher in this draft.  There are reasons for this and it pains me to tell you them (as you well know me by now, that was written with sarcasm).

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Baraka has leadership qualities Ė itís just that it is not the right kind of leadership.  He is another player from this program that has work ethic problems and character issues.  He is another player that is not playing up to what his talent suggests he could be with hard work and discipline.   

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 7 / FA

I donít see any reason to get excited about a player who underachieved for his college program. Maybe Iím being too hard on this kid, but with him and Brown playing on the same line together, you would think that this program would have been much better than it was.  A lot of these players have no respect for authority which came through both on and off the field.  They also have no respect for their teammates.  The problem with this program and some of its players goes a lot deeper than just a fight on the field.  It carries into the next level when they donít show up at the volunteer workouts and the excuse is that they are working out at their former college.  Itís amazing how many of those players with this ďprivateĒ workout routine get injured every year and are useless to the team that drafts them.  Itís interesting to see how much oxygen these players have to take on the sidelines after they have made one good play in a game.  Itís interesting how these players seem to disappear in the fourth quarter of games all the time.  At some point, NFL teams are going to realize that some of the players from this program are nothing but very talented hot air with no interest in winning football.  They are only interested in how good their stats are for the fantasy league fans and how well that translates into big dollars in free agency.  There is a long line of very good successful players who have come out of this program over the years.  There is also just as big a line of players with a lot of bull so be very careful choosing the players you draft from this program.  Right now, Baraka is a rotation D-lineman with the athletic talent to be a starter, but lacks the work ethic and heart to succeed.

Drew Boylhart

March/2007