by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Maize n Brew.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Michigan, Linebacker, Michael Barrett
Name - Michael Barrett
Pos - LB
Team - Michigan
HT/WT - 6’0” 239 lbs.
Home – Valdosta, GA
Michael Barrett was a two-way player for Lowndes, playing both quarterback and linebacker in high school. As a junior, he was named the Class 7A state player of the year. As a senior, he threw for 1,705 yards and 16 touchdowns while also adding 1,195 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. After looking at offers from Georgia Tech, LSU, Nebraska and Michigan State, Barrett decided to commit to Michigan.
As a true freshman in 2018, Barrett only played 2 games on special teams and did not register any stats. During his sophomore season, he played in 13 games. Once again, most of his time was on special teams but did see the defensive side of the ball in 2 games. He was credited with 7 tackles during the 2019 season.
He was named the starter in 2020, and although the season was cut short due to Covid-19, he still was able to collect 43 tackles and 1 sack in 6 games. Barrett played in a rotational role with a lot of special teams in 2021. He played in 14 games and started 1 at linebacker. He ended the season with 21 tackles and 1 sack for the Wolverines.
In 2022, Barrett was able to take over the starting “viper” position once again and started 13 of the 14 games at linebacker. It was a very productive year for Barrett and he was 2nd on the team in tackles with 72. He also recorded 5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. He decided to come back for a 6th season in 2023 with the Wolverines. He has started 14 games for Michigan and has tallied 61 tackles, 3.5 TFL, and 3 sacks.
Barrett is an athletic linebacker who has the ability to cover running backs or tight ends and is strong enough to knock wide receivers off of their routes. He reads the development of plays well and does not hesitate to react, allowing him to play fast. He drops into zone effectively, understanding his assignments. When tackling, he breaks down nicely and does not overreact to fakes or jukes. His closing and chase speed is sufficient, and he is a player who never stops moving. He is a high energy player who has the ability to put consistent pressure on the quarterback.
Barrett leaves a lot of tackles out on the field, though he is getting to the ball carrier when he should. He needs to add different moves to his pass rushing repertoire to be successful up the middle in the NFL. And, Barrett will be 24-years-old on draft day.
Derrick Barnes was a 4th round draft pick out of Purdue in 2021 and has played his way into a starting job with the Detroit Lions. Barnes and Barrett play similarly and play with high energy on every play. Barnes is more polished as a tackler and both players have shown the ability to cover running backs out of the backfield without issue. Barrett has a chance to be a later round draft pick who sticks with a roster as a rotational linebacker and or on special teams.
Reads plays well
Feet always moving
Pass rushing moves
Michael Barrett is the type of player that any head coach wants. You can play him anywhere and he gives you maximum effort. He should be able to make any roster with his special teams ability and has the skills to be a quality performer in the NFL.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 5th or 6th round