Mark Barron   S   Alabama

TALENT BOARD

 Round 1


STRENGTHS

Mark has the athletic talent to play either safety position in any style of defense.  He has the speed, quickness and instincts to be used as a single free safety or as an in-the-box strong safety.  He has the cover skills and strength to be used to cover TE's and RB's out of the backfield.  Mark is used by his college team all over the field and is the leader and coach on the field of the defensive backs.  He makes sure everyone is in the right position in the entire defensive backfield before the ball is snapped.  The DB's and LB's all look to him to make changes on the fly just before the snap of the ball.  Mark is used as an in-the-box safety when the defense pulls its MLB up to the line as a DE in a 4- down front to rush the passer.  He can cover slot receivers one-on-one.  In a zone coverage scheme, you better have an accurate QB or Mark will make the big hit and dislodge the ball.  As a single free safety, if the QB doesn't look him off, he will intercept the ball.  Mark is the type of player who is always around the ball making a play or a tackle.  He is an excellent open field tackler.  Mark is smart, does not get fooled by play action, has the bulk to play up in the box, the athletic talent to flip his hips and cover, is an excellent tackler and is a leader and a coach on the field.  He is not just a safety!

 

CONCERNS

He can be sloppy sometimes when he tackles and he did have an off field situation, but I do not believe anything Mark did off the field has any bearing on his character. You really have to nit pick to find anything drastically wrong with this kid's game. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

Mark has the habit on third and long plays when he is coming from his two deep zone position, of skipping up to the line to make a tackle.  He does this so that at the last minute he is still in position to flip his hips and cover. It's unique and effective and gets him to the runner quicker, when his instincts suggest to him that his opponent is going to run the ball instead of trying a deep pass.  Mark has Troy Polamalu instincts against the run but is a better cover safety.  He leads by communicating and is the emotional strength of his team.  Most of the time good safeties can be found later in the draft, but Mark is more than a good safety and the exception to the rule.  I consider him a top fifteen pick and if a team thought they needed a leader for their defense and wanted to draft Mark someplace in the top ten, I would find it hard to argue with them.  That's how much I think of Mark (Skippy) Barron.  I know he won't like that nickname, but believe me, I mean it as a compliment.

 

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart   Jan /12