Barnes’ coverage skills earn him notice, but his physicality is also a factor - his senior season ended with a fumble-forcing collision with Wake Forest’s D.J. Boldin.
Then there was the hit on Best, a signature moment Barnes could savor and turn to when his ability to hit is questioned.
“I probably would have been a lot more down if I hadn’t left some kind of impact,” Barnes said. “Every visit I go on, coaches ask me about my tackling. I say, ‘You got YouTube on your computer?’ ”
They liked what they saw. With workouts for teams finished, this week’s pace is slower, and Barnes plans to keep a phone nearby throughout the weekend.
Perhaps his injury prevented Barnes from climbing higher in the draft. But between his smarts and skills, he doesn’t consider himself a risky pick. And he’s certain he will take a big call in the next few days.
“I don’t really think so, because I had a good combine,” Barnes said. “Obviously, they know I’m capable of playing. Regardless, I’m healthy now. I feel like I’ll be a steal wherever I get picked. There’s no cap on how high I could have gone had I not gotten hurt.”