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2018 NFL Draft prospect profile: J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State

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Will Barrett’s athleticism and leadership earn him a chance in the NFL?

NCAA Football: East-West Shrine Game Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more intriguing aspects of the 2018 NFL Draft, and the quarterback class which will define it, is how one of the most experienced and heralded players in it has gone utterly unmentioned. Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett lead one of college football’s most feared offenses for most of the last five years, but he hasn’t been regarded as much of a prospect for the NFL.

Given his pedigree, that is hardly surprising: While he has a consistent track record of stocking the NFL with defensive backs, defensive linemen, wide receivers, and running backs, Urban Meyer’s quarterbacks have hardly been successful at the next level.

The New York Giants are expected to try and find a successor to Eli Manning high in this year’s draft, but could that stop them from taking a look at Barrett later on?

Measurables

Pros

  • Experienced quarterback. Fifth-year senior who has seen a lot of different defenses and played in (and won) a number of big games.
  • Reportedly an exceptional leader and teammate. Only three time captain in school history.
  • Strong arm. Barrett can make all the throws, drive the ball downfield, or challenge tight windows.
  • Talented athlete. Barrett is a regular threat in OSU’s running game as well as able to use his legs to extend plays.
  • Unafraid to stand tall in the pocket and keeps his eyes downfield when moving behind the line of scrimmage.

Cons

  • Played in a spread-option system. Many of his throws were behind the line of scrimmage and he will have a learning curve adapting to a Pro Style offense
  • Inconsistent accuracy and ball placement. Accuracy can be all over the place, and ball placement can make catches difficult, limit yards after catch, or put the ball in jeopardy.
  • Inconsistent mechanics. Plays a role in accuracy and placement issues. Doesn’t always take his mechanics with him when he scrambles and relies on arm strength alone. Also inconsistent on deep passes.
  • On the short side for the NFL at 6’1”.

Prospect video

What they’re saying

“For the Oklahoma game, his speech before that game really stood out to us,” said Buckeyes H-back Curtis Samuel. “It was a big delay. He just got everybody’s mind right and prepared for the game.” - Curtis Samuel (Carolina Panthers)

“When you’ve got those type of people behind you, it’s a confidence booster for us. To be able to continue to lead a team and motivate every position and not just the offense or the quarterbacks, the running backs. He’s able to reach everybody, and that’s the sign of a great leader.” - G/C Billy Price

“He might not talk a lot, but when he does, it’s real intense,” said Weber. “Especially when he talks to the team. He’s a different person. It’s like there’s two different types of J.T.’s. It’s the savage type and it’s the calm type. That’s what you need in football.” - RB Mike Weber

Does The Fit The Giants?

At this point Barrett likely isn’t a primary target for any quarterback-needy team. He could, however, be a worthwhile investment toward the end of the draft (at this point Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst regards him as a seventh round pick or priority free agent).

There are undoubtedly challenges that might be impossible to overcome with respect to learning how to play in an NFL offense. However, Barrett has some intriguing tools, particularly for a West Coast Offense or something similar.

His athleticism and stout build also makes a move to receiver or running back (in the sam vein as fellow Ohio State alums Terrelle Pryor and Braxton Miller) a possibility. Regardless, it wouldn’t be hard to fault an NFL team for wanting Barrett’s leadership on their team, even if it isn’t at quarterback.