Why The Cowboys Need To Draft Mark Barron
by Archie Barberio on Apr 22, 2012 11:00 AM CDT in Dallas Cowboys 2012 Draft
As stated above, Barron knows what he is doing. He lined up as both a free and strong safety at Alabama, alone in deep coverage and in Cover-2, in the box as a blitzer, short-zone defender, and force defender, and anywhere else a safety can find himself. Barron adjusted to sudden assignment changes because of defensive audibles and/or formation shifts; it was not unusual to see him start at deep safety, then race to the line to blitz after offensive motion. He should have no trouble mastering a complex defense.
The pre-draft scuttlebutt has the Dallas Cowboys eager to select Barron. The Cowboys also selected big, hard-hitting safety Roy Williams back in 2002. Barron is better than Williams. That is hardly faint praise: Williams played in five Pro Bowls, though the last few were reputation selections. Barron provides all the hits, better pass coverage, and despite his combine remarks, a lower probability of having an illegal tackle named in his honor.
NFL Comparison: Adrian Wilson, Arizona Cardinals
One NFL analyst that I have the utmost respect for is former general manager Charley Casserly. Remember that this is the man who passed on Reggie Bush and Vince Young for Mario Williams. Casserly has a great article about where he thinks Barron matches up with the other safeties drafted recently.
Barron is 6-foot-1, 213 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in the 4.5's. He is very smart; Nick Saban runs a complex defense at Alabama and Barron had no problem understanding it. He should be able to be the defensive signal caller for his NFL team. He is very athletic and has the ability to play man coverage versus tight ends, which is not common in a safety. He is also exceptional when playing zone defense. Barron has excellent instincts to break on the ball and the speed to cover a lot of ground. As a physical player and fine tackler, he often played linebacker in Alabama's nickel defense. When I evaluate Barron as a safety, I do not see anything he can't do. To me, he's a very safe pick.