Georgia Tech's defensive tackle T.J. Barnes is an excellent fit for Mike Nolan's 1-gap concepts on defense. He would be someone who could impact the Falcons defense just like Vance Walker did. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barnes had a visit with the Falcons:
#Falcons local day list: Add Georgia Tech massive DT T.J. Barnes to the list.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) April 8, 2013
Let's see how Barnes fits in with the Falcons:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Height: 6'6-1/4" Weight: 369 pounds
Arm Length: 34-7/8" Hand Measurement: 10-3/8"
40 yard dash: 5.19 sec. 10 yard split: 1.89 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.96 sec. 3-cone Drill: 8.26 sec. Bench Reps: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 22.0" Broad Jump: 8'1"
2012: 14 Games Played, 28 Tackles, 5.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 3 Pass Deflections
2011: 13 Games Played, 11 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks
2010: 13 Games Played, 20 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Pass Deflection
2009: 13 Games Played, 16 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry
T.J. Barnes is a beast in the middle of the defense for Georgia Tech when he is on. He's got a massive frame and knows how to use it. He also isn't a fat 369 pounds. He's big and solid and reminds me of a poor-man's Ted Washington when he is just asked to penetrate.
Against the run, he can take on multiple blocks and allow his linebackers a ton of freedom to roam. And in the passing game, he's one of the few big men who can push through the line and create pressure from the middle in the pass rush.
He does have issues with maintaining leverage on every single play and shouldn't be an every down defensive end in the pros. He's got to be able to maintain the same kind of intensity on every single snap. Playing in a rotation should be a great way to make sure he has the same push and power every play.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
T.J. Barnes fits the filter like any other Georgia Tech player who earned a captain's role should. He was a senior leader for the Yellow Jackets and was arguably their most durable player. He's one of their toughest workers on and off the field, and is very intelligent as a student-athlete.
T.J. Barnes is that beastly 1-gap nose tackle that the Falcons have wanted for years. He would be a huge bodied 1-technique player who could fit well in both the locker room and the defensive tackle rotation. He would also be extremely effective as a 0-technique nose tackle in 3-4 sets if the Falcons wanted to run some plays out of a straight 3-4.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
Barnes would have to be a mid-round pick for the Falcons. He would likely have to be selected in the fourth or fifth round. He would be a great pick, though, as he could give Atlanta some true defensive versatility by giving them a natural nose tackle.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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