Scouting Report: Mark Barron
Mark Barron is the leader of the Crimson Tide secondary. He has abundant experience starting 38 games for Alabama. Barron did not participate in the Combine and Alabama’s Pro Day due to surgery for a double sports hernia. This may cause his stock to dive out of the top fifteen.
Weight: 213 lbs
Mark Barron’s greatest strength is his intelligence. He called the complex coverage plays for the Alabama defense. He is a student if the game and spends a lot of time in the film room. His intelligence shows up on the field as he can diagnosis the play before it happens, especially the run. Is well suited to play either safety position but will thrive more as a strong safety in the NFL.
He tends to play the run first before dropping off on coverage and plays well near the line of scrimmage. Game tape shows his ability to break on a run play before the snap. Has excellent zone coverage skills where he can read the quarterbacks eyes. Also has excellent hands and makes difficult interceptions. He is best suited to cover tight ends and running backs in underneath zone coverage. Game tape shows lots of pass deflections in underneath coverage. He can blitz effectively from the safety position. Barron has shown good timing on his blitzes.
Barron can be baited in to play action as he tends to look for the run play initially. He tends to sneak forward to the line of scrimmage on almost all plays he is in man coverage. Then he turns his hips at the last moment to cover.
Barron also struggles in man coverage especially on double moves. Straight-line speed is a problem but makes up with football quickness, intelligence and agility. Barron goes for the big hit instead of solid tackling leading to inconsistent tackling skills and bad angles being taken for tackles.
Mark Barron is a top fifteen talent. He is projected to go anywhere in the first round from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the New York Giants. He has the talent and intelligence to go in the top ten. If he does not get drafted by pick 10, a team that is not drafting for need should pick him up.
However, since safeties are not coveted first round picks, Barron could slip down into the bottom third of Round 1. He is a player that a team can build a defense around especially with the tight ends becoming popular. Barron has the coverage skills to line up with guys like the Gronk and Graham. He plays a lot like Troy Polamalu.