Keep Your Eye On

The draft is behind us, free agency has slowed to a trickle, and as Dolfans we look forward to the next OTA  (scheduled for May 21-23). This slow period has given me time to look back at the past few weeks and start to think about the Fins final 53-man roster. Plenty has been said about all the Fins draft picks, which I believe will all make the final 53, but they’re a couple of “Ireland Acorns” to keep an eye on.

I have seen several positive articles on Jordan Kovacs, the safety out of Michigan and the David Hinds story is great, but the undrafted free agent I really want to keep an eye on is Chris Barker, guard out of Nevada.

Barker was a four-year starter for the Wolf Pack. While at Nevada Barker started in a record 53 straight games, that’s right 53! He is / was an iron man – never missing a start throughout his collegiant career. He has versatility, playing both left and right guard in college. He was an ALL-WAC nominee as a sophomore, and first team ALL-WAC as a junior. He was even selected to the Pre Season Outland Trophy watch list prior to his senior season.  This past season he was selected to second team ALL-WAC.

Originally labeled a mid to late round pick by many, a poor showing at the combine may have affected his draft status. His bench was a solid 29 reps, but he failed to impress in the rest of the drills.  He look’s the part measuring in at 6’3’’ and weighing in at 305lbs. His strengths and experience mesh nicely in a zone-blocking scheme.  Though his numbers improved at Nevada’s pro day, what really caught my eye was a quote about Barker’s pro day from NFL legend Gil Brandt, “Barker was worked out by one of the scouts in attendance, Adam Engroff, who is one of the best at working out lineman” That would be Dolphins super scout Adam Engroff who also helped find acorns like Jimmy Wilson and Dan Carpenter.

Now, I am not ready to declare Barker a starter or even say that he will make the final 53, but I do believe he could develop into a starter and he is a player to keep an eye on.