2014 NFL Draft Player Profiles – Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett

We have shifted our focus completely to the draft and for the next several months we will continue to provide scouting reports and breakdowns of several prospects. Some of these players the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at while others will be fits for other teams. We do this to make you as prepared as possible for the 2014 NFL Draft.

Today, we will look at Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett

Shaquil Barrett/DE/OLB Colorado State: 6’1″ 1/2 260

The Good

– Only 21,but very mature for his age and a team captain

– Classic tweaner size to be a 3-4 OLB

– Senior season coached by Joey Porter

– Holds POA well and capable of handling double teams

– Gets his 32 1/4 inch arms extended and keeps lineman at bay

– Understands hand placement and uses them

– Nice dip and rip move with some bend to him

– Played on both the left and right side from a three point stance and upright

– Strength creates an effective bull rush, can collapse pocket

– Shows some long speed

– Has drop experience

– Played well against top college competition

– Solid special teams player

The Bad

– Doesn’t have a well-defined build. Might could stand to drop down to 250

– Inconsistent get-off

– Can get swallowed up by big tackles

– Uses shoulder too much inside instead of staying square to LOS

– Not quick twitch

– Not great in coverage outside of zone flat drops

– Footwork needs work as he will occasionally include false steps

– Play recognition could be a little better

– Could stand to get a little stronger

The Other

– 2013 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year

– 2013 First-team All-Mountain West honors

– Ranked 5th in the nation in tackles for loss with a Mountain West record 20.5

– Ranked 5th in the nation in sacks with 12

– Finished third on team with 80 tackles (38 solo) and added three blocked kicks, four forced fumbles

– Originally played middle linebacker at Nebraska-Omaha before program folded

Tape Breakdown

When you put on the tape of the game against Alabama, the first play that will stick out to you includes Barrett setting the edge against left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. It forces the pulling guard to go a long way before turning up and thus throws the timing of the play off that ends with the defensive back registering a tackle for a loss. Look at Barrett’s hand placement, arm extension and strength in action against a top-rated left tackle.

While Barrett doesn’t possess a consistent quick get-off, he is effective below at fighting off a tight end block and getting through the gap to get in on the tackle. One of his strong suits I have noticed in watching his tape is his consistent ability to get through the C-gap when lined up against tight ends.

Watch below against the outside zone how Barrett once again uses his arms and hands to fight off the right tackle and get in on the stop.

Below, with double tight ends to his side, Barrett once again disengages. However, you would really like to see him get there a tick sooner and more importantly, finish the tackle. This run goes for about 8 yards when it should have gone for 3 or so.

A nice dip and bend for a sack here against Kouandjio. He runs good here on his inside half. Roughly a 3 second sack. A little more muscle and flexibility and he almost looks like James Harrison right here.

Lined up below at left defensive end, Barrett once again doesn’t get off quick at the snap but he beats a lunging, flat-backing right guard through the B-gap for an easy run stuff.

Here is a still of that last play to show the ball already snapped and Barrett still with his right hand in the dirt.

Here is an example of Barrett in coverage on a slot receiver. He carries up the field OK for the first 8 yards, but is no match for the break outside. He won’t be asked to do this too much in a 3-4 and it’s a good thing. He seems to do fine with his zone drops out into the flat, however.

Frozen here on the fake to the running back, Barrett gives up outside contain and it results in an explosive play.

Here, Barrett is lined up inside as a defensive tackle and you hate to see him lead so much with his shoulder, which in turn has him turned completely towards the sideline. He does recover and disengages quickly for the stuff, but that is mostly a result of the good play by the defensive end.

One of his better get-offs here below against the UTEP left tackle Brander Craighead complete with a dip and rip for a sack/fumble. Craighead is listed at 6’7″.


If you haven’t heard much about Barrett until now, you certainly will soon. There is no way that he is a seventh-round prospect like some are claiming he is. I would like to know if he was asked to play at 260 because he was a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker as I really think he could drop about 10 pounds and add a little definition. I really don’t expect Barrett to set the world on fire with his times at his Pro Day. He is, however, a football player and according to Joey Porter, he is a student of the game. Watch his tape and he will grow on you.

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Ohio State linebacker John Simon in the fourth-round last year and when the dust finally clears, that is right about where I expect Barrett to come off the board. In my opinion, he would be a perfect fit for the Steelers and any other 3-4 team as an outside linebacker.

Projection: 4th-5th round

Games Watched: at Alabama, vs Colorado, vs UTEP

Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
ILB Shayne Skov
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers

  • steeltown

    I am REALLY starting to like this kid.. and if it wasn’t for Joey Porter and SteelersDepot I wouldn’t even know about him. I would be happy with this selection. He would probably immediately unseat the lowly C.Carter on the depth chart, in my opinion

    Im not saying that Joey Porter will have much pull when it comes to draft selections, but I bet it’ll be discussed and I think Barrett would provide good value in the 5th Rd at a position that badly needs a depth overhaul

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    When we hired Carnell Lake, we didn’t get Rahim Moore. Not implying he won’t have any saying in draft but he just as much possibly just stating the impact he had on players and used him as an example for his credibility. If I was him, that’s what i’d do…

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree that because of the Porter hiring, Barrett will have a cheerleader in his corner. I just posted on Alex’s write up that we need to pay attention to players who were captains of their respected colleges. This may be a drafting trend, for all of 13’s class were captains as well. And guess what? Barrett was a captain.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yes, I remember that. The Steelers are now no longer gambling on, shall we say, shitheads. By taking captains, leaders if you will, they are investing in smarter, motivated guys that should motivate others to outperform. It also cuts down on the odds the guy ends up being a total idiot, especially off the field.

    This actually sounds like a great theme or strategy. Sure you miss on some stud athlete who just had small previous missteps, but that’s okay.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    And when you see guys like this with potential that could be had in the 4th or 5th round, don;t you wish the Steelers had more draft picks? Here’s hoping they can pull off a Vikings move from last year and end up with more picks. There is usually some silly team that gets excited and overpays on a trade. That would be the best case scenario since the draft is so, so deep at WR and others.

    There’s an article for you guys: How can they trade down and get a big haul.

  • grw1960

    Nice prospect hunting and scouting info Dave

  • Chad H

    Like these no name guys with talent. Would be nice 5th or 6th rounder. Need back ups that can play.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’d love a good solid OLB in 4, as long as we get a CB, Safety and WR before then!

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Watching that tape made me really hope we stay over 100 yards away from Alabama’s OT in the Draft

  • Douglas Andrews

    He looks like a pretty good prospect. I’m sure the Steelers have him on the radar now. One question Dave who’s the guy wearing 37 he looks like a pretty good ILB prospect. I see him getting to the ball and dis engaging from those blocks from the big heavies. Wonder if we could get a draft profile on him or am I reading too much in the gif’s?


    Me as well…the film clips show good potential…whether Worilds is signed or not OLB is a need position for competition and depth as you said. Not at the combine…I’m sure Porter will have input on them attending his pro day and that should be enough to seal it if he performs well.