He is a safety with great range and ball skills to make big plays, and also is a contributor in run support to use his size and instincts to be an active defender. Barron’s combination of size, speed, production and football instincts project him to be a top-50 pick.
Barron transitions well in coverage and can cover a variety of offensive players in different positions. He comes downfield with a head of steam in the run game and can move fluidly to run down and cover fast receivers in the pass.
Barron has displayed many pro traits throughout his career and while he may not step in and be an All-Pro, he has shown few weaknesses in his game while competing at the collegiate level."
Blessed with size, strength and instincts, Barron has been a standout for the Tide since emerging as a starter during his true sophomore season, earning First Team All-SEC honors after each of the past two years.
He burst onto the scene in 2009, leading the conference with seven interceptions and picked off another three last year. He's developed a reputation as a big hitter, as well.
Barron enters his senior campaign viewed by most as the top senior safety prospect in the country and a potential early round pick. Scouts, however, have reservations about Barron's straight-line speed and hope to see the potential All-American make the same gains as an open field tackler that he made from his sophomore to junior seasons.
Man Coverage: Not often asked to drop down and cover the slot in this scheme. Is a bit stiff in the hips and has only average change of direction. Does show a late burst to close on the football.
Zone Coverage: Good instincts and overall athleticism for zone coverage. A bit high in his backpedal as he's a high cut athlete, but can plant and drive downhill on the football. Reads the quarterback's eyes and has good feet, balance and straight-line speed, aiding him in being in consistently good position when in pass coverage.
Ball Skills: Classic ball hawk. Reads the quarterback's eyes and does a nice job of breaking on the throw. Good acceleration and straight-line speed. Very good ball skills for the position. Generally times his leaps well and has good hand-eye coordination to make the difficult grab. Good vision and natural running skills with the football.
Run Support: Reads run quickly and aggressively attacks, taking out blockers when he has help behind him. Unafraid of playing near the line of scrimmage, though he shows only average strength and technique to disengage.
Good agility and speed to avoid blockers, showing an ability to make a lot of plays at or near the line of scrimmage. Prone to overrunning the play, however, and leaving potential cutback lanes for backs to exploit.
Tackling: Isn't as reliable an open field tackler as you'd think, considering his reputation. Flies upfield in run support and can fail to break down properly. Doesn't possess the elite agility to dance with runners in the open field and always make the secure stop.
Physical hitter who teases with textbook hit-lift-drive technique, but will also duck his head occasion to make the big hit and miss entirely or fail to wrap up securely and have the ball-carrier spin through his attempted tackle.
Among his better traits, however, is his ability to take good angles when in pursuit. Understands his role as the last line of defense and rarely allows ball-carriers to get past him when he is in this position.
Intangibles: Arrested in March 2011 on charges of hindering prosecution, a misdemeanor charge, as police believed he was not telling full truth about one-car accident in his hometown of Mobile.
Missed the Capital One Bowl after suffering a torn right pectoral muscle against Auburn. The injury played a major factor in Barron electing to return to Alabama for his senior season."
Stays coordinated clicking and closing on plays and can cleanly drive on the football in front of him. Demonstrates above-average ball skills in man coverage and uses his length well to make plays on the football. However, anytime he's asked to re-direct and/or turn and run he will struggle with his balance.
Is tighter in the hips when forced to turn and run, gets upright and doesn't reach top end speed quickly. Doesn't breakdown real well or keep his feet under him when ranging in the deep half and lacks the ability to collect himself quickly and consistently attack the football.
Too often looks to be collecting himself and will drift when trying to make a play on a throw. Makes a lot of calls in the secondary and has improved his instincts when feeling routes develop around him as a senior.
The same attributes pop up in the run game as well. When he can run the alley and take a beeline toward the ball carrier he drops his pad level well, wraps on contact and consistently brings his man to the ground with a powerful strike. Understands angles well in space and uses the sideline as an extra defender.
However, when he's asked to re-direct or slide his feet laterally in order to bring down a man he has a tendency to overrun the play and/or lose balance causing him to miss on tackles.
Impression: Has the makings of a heck of a special teams player who can attack downhill, play inside the box and drive on the football in front of him in the pass game. Isn't going to be a threat turning and tracking the football, but his improved instincts makes me think he can start in the league."
Is a strong box defender while having length, range and hands to play on the back end.
Lacks elite fluidity and man-cover skills but shoulders a lot of responsibility in Alabama's scheme, plays fast and is an ascending football player with a professional makeup who could start as a rookie."
When Barron is healthy, he's a proven commodity as a downhill box safety with some pop in his game. What will keep Barron down in the draft is a lack of any great tools, especially athleticism. He can be stiff in his movement and doesn't change direction incredibly well.
While Barron has the strength to handle most ball carriers, his tackling fundamentals aren't always sound. In the end, Barron is a classic low ceiling, high floor prospect who probably won't be a major player in the NFL.
Games Viewed: (All 2010) Penn State, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Michigan State
Bold Statement: Barron's draft status will depend on how well he does at the NFL Scouting Combine, at his pro day and in private workouts.
• Has good size for the position and knows how to use it to his advantage. Barron has the strength and length to cover tight ends and lay a hit. Still, he's probably better in zone coverage because he's not espescially loose hipped
• Because Barron is a little stiff, he has trouble against athletic receivers and run more complex routes. Against Florida in the 2010 SEC title game, tight end Aaron Hernandez gave Barron a lot of difficulty, for instance.
• While he's good at locating and running down the ball carrier, the trouble is that Barron can get overconfident in his hitting ability and isn't always a fundamentally sound tackler.
• Rarely gets himself out of position while a play is developing, which displays his football intelligence. He does have a tendency, though, to bite on play action.
• His best asset is probably playing downhill agianst the run. When he squares up, he can easily handle ball carriers one on one.
• In the passing game, Barron is at his best when the play is developing in front of him. He's shown plenty in the past that he has a good eye for the ball and decent hands to break up a pass.
• Character will have to be checked out. Was arrested in March on misdemeanor hindering prosecution charges."
Hard-working, instinctive safety at his best working in the box close to the line of scrimmage; does a good job finding the ball and getting through the traffic and is an aggressive tackler with good pop when stepping into runners;
Opportunistic cover safety had 10 interceptions the past couple of seasons, but is limited in man coverage by less than elite type speed and agility; better in zone where he does a good job reading the play and breaks well on the ball; makes receivers coming into his area pay a price; also has good hands;
Not as smooth on balls over his head as he isn’t all that smooth turning and running, although he tracks the ball reasonably well; hard worker spends a lot of time in the film room; biggest knock is that he can be too aggressive at times; will bite on play action and will also miss the occasional tackle going for the big hit;
Generally thought to be a character player but was charged with hindering prosecution this past spring when he reportedly wouldn’t identify a cousin as the driver in a car accident."
Does a good job reading quarterbacks' eyes, especially effective underneath when he can mirror receivers and keeps plays in front of him... Durability not a huge issue, has not missed substantial time due to injury, played with torn pectoral muscle in 2010 before missing bowl game following surgery...
Looks like a smart player, understands multiple roles and generally keeps to his assignments, knows where to be on almost every play... Shows good hand pop when in press coverage on slot receivers, jams well at the line, although probably won't be playing on the line much in the NFL...
Ball skills are slightly above average, at his best when he locates the ball early in deep zone coverage, interception totals evidence of ability to get to the ball in the air... Tough and durable, physicality will make him a valuable contributor in the NFL.
Negatives: Has stiffness in hips and lack of fluidity in deep coverage, may project best as a strong safety in the NFL... Coverage skills are average at best, does not have elite range in zone coverage, not fluid enough to run with a lot of slot receivers in the NFL...
Change-of-direction ability is questionable, does not have the quickest feet, can play high at times... Will bite on play action at times when playing in the box, definitely a run-first defender, may be relegated to two-down run stopping early in career...
Can be too aggressive at times, tends to take bad angles when flying around the field, will miss tackles in the open field... Lacks elite explosiveness, lack of quickness may be the biggest factor, needs to work on changing directions with more leverage and fluidity."
He played in all 14 games as a freshman and made 18 tackles before stepping into a starting role as a sophomore in 2009. Barron has been a staple of an absolutely dominant Crimson Tide defense ever since.
He led the SEC with seven interceptions that season then earned First Team All-SEC honors from both the coaches and the Associated Press in 2010.
Through eight games of his senior campaign, Barron continues to lead the way, topping the team with 27 solo tackles. He has 40 total tackles (3.5 for loss) in addition to an interception and a fumble recovery.
NFL scouts will love Barron's size, as he registers at 6'2'' and 218 pounds. He has decent speed, too, generally running in the mid-4.5s in the 40-yard dash while being clocked as fast as 4.47 from that distance.
Barron is a solid pass defender, but he is best at stepping into the box and playing against the run right behind the line of scrimmage. He is both a hard hitter and a sure tackler. One minor red flag is a torn pectoral muscle that hampered him in the 2010 season finale against Auburn, but Barron is fine now."
The Tide’s pass defense was the most efficient in the nation and Barron was a major reason why. The Mobile native is far better in pass coverage than your typical strong safety thanks to his elite instincts and ball skills. His ability to read and react to what the opposing quarterback is doing and take the proper angle to the football is why he always seems to be in the mix. Baron uses his length well, is blessed with impeccable timing, and possesses a reliable pair of hands. The strong safety has an impressive frame at 6’2” and while he isn’t undersized at 210 pounds, he may want to add another five to ten pounds if he wants to fit the NFL prototype. Barron is also a proven performer on kickoff coverage, just in case you like icing on your cake. The ‘Bama man should be among the top safeties selected next April, should he declare for the 2011 NFL Draft.
Once Nick Saban got his hands on Barron, who played offense in high school, he immediately began sculpting the un-molded clay into what would become one of the most feared safeties in the nation for the eventual SEC and BCS Champions. The Mobile native earned his way onto the field by cutting his teeth as a special teams enforcer. It was there that he displayed his uncanny timing, sound tackling technique, and willingness to play violent. In 2009 as a sophomore he finally got on the field as a starting strong safety and immediately proved how versatile and valuable he could be to any defense. Standing at 6’2” and approximately 210 pounds Barron possesses rare athleticism. He is blessed with quick feet, amazing burst through his hips, fantastic fluidity and impressive jumping ability.
The Alabama man is big, explosive, and possesses the ability to play on every level of the field, something that’s quite uncommon for a strong safety. With most of his secondary teammates from the 2009 season now getting ready for NFL training camps—including a pair of highly thought of cornerbacks in Kareem Jackson and Javier Arenas—how will Barron fare in 2010? The junior will be the most experienced member of that secondary rather than the baby of the bunch. While the Alabama man has amazing burst and fluidity his long speed is not elite. Often teams must sacrifice something when it comes to their safeties. This is not the case with Barron, as he is equally adept at playing the run and the pass. While Clemson’s DeAndre McDaniel (#22 overall) and Rahim Moore (#30 overall) of UCLA are the only two safeties to crack our top 32, it wouldn’t surprise us if Barron is the first safety off the board by the time April of 2011 rolls around."