Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, University of Cincinnati
Combine and (Pro Day) Results:
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.59 (4.47)
- 20 Yard Dash: 2.68 (2.58)
- 10 Yard Dash: 1.58 (1.53)
- Bench Press: 21
- Vertical Jump: 40 ½
- Broad Jump: 10’8"
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.18
- 3-Cone Drill: 6.87
Positives: Barwin has outstanding athleticism, great speed and a tremendous first step. He's physical at the point of attack and uses to his hands well to keep defenders at bay. His repertoire of pass rush moves is impressive for a guy with only one year at the position with his stutter and spin moves as a effective compliment to a powerful bull rush. His non-stop motor will also allow him to make some plays that other players wouldn't, especially in pursuit. On the field his awareness and football IQ are second to none and he's very coachable (as evidence by a position change as a senior). He did play standing up a bit in his one season on defense so he's got some experience at OLB.
Negatives: Inexperience is the biggest concern with Barwin and as you'd expect he's very raw in just about every aspect. He'll have to play better against the run, improve his pass rush technique (too often relies on the speed rush at times) and will have to get more comfortable dropping back into coverage.
Overview: Barwin is a coach's dream. He's a great athlete who's team oriented and highly intelligent. He was a star special teams player for the Bearcats early in his collegiate career and was a pretty decent tight end his junior season (31 receptions, 399 yards and two TDs). He moved to defensive end his senior season (a position he'd never played) and responded with 12.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, six pass breakups and three blocked kicks. Barwin's still very much a project type of player who probably should be expected to contribute much (outside of special teams) as a rookie. With only one year on the defensive side of the ball and having to learn another new position, his transition period could be longer than other guys like Larry English, Aaron Maybin and other college defensive ends. Barwin also played on the Bearcats' basketball team for two seasons.
Projected Round: Late 1st to mid 2nd round
Why he should be a Cardinal: Barwin is the kind of high quality individual that the Cardinals covet and his ability to play football doesn't hurt either. His athletic ability can't be denied and if the Cardinals want some youth at outside linebacker and an improved pass rush, Barwin might just be the answer.
How he fits into the Cardinals defense: Expecting much from Barwin in 2009 might be big mistake but once he gets acclimated to the position, he's got the pure pass rush skills and athleticism to be a complete player. With the top four spots at outside linebacker seemingly set, Barwin could spend a year playing primarily on special teams and learning a new position with the idea of stepping into the starting lineup in 2010.
Similar NFL players: Constantly compared to Mike Vrabel.
I think a lot of the intangibles do show up. One major factor is I'm a consistent player. My work ethic is an intangible that won't show up on tape. I have a motor that doesn't stop. My football IQ is great as a result of playing both offense and defense. My ability to have experience on both sides of the ball allows me to know what the other players are thinking and planning.
As a goal line TE: