The Denver Broncos started off day three of the 2014 NFL Draft with four selections, and after waiting until pick #131 to make their first, they decided to trade back, pick up an additional 2015 draft pick, and hope the guy they coveted fell to the fifth round.
After trading down with the Chicago Bears, that’s precisely what happened.
As John Elway explained it, Broncos head coach John Fox paced the room as Denver waited for their new linebacker to make it to the 156th overall pick in the draft, and he did.
The Broncos selected LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow, the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons and one of the more versatile linebacker prospects in this year’s draft.
Here’s what you need to know about Barrow, and what he brings to the table.
Wt: 237 lbs.
Arm length: 33 3/8″
Hand size: 10 3/8″
5.5 tackles for loss
- Arm length
- Chases well
- Special teams ability
- Versatility to play both ILB and OLB
- Strong in coverage
- Team captain and leader
- Relentless motor
- 2nd Team All-SEC as a senior
Areas of Weakness
- Lighter frame for ILB
- Can over-pursue at times
- Doesn’t make a ton of plays behind the LOS
- Would like to see him get to the QB more
- Somewhat raw
- Needs to continue to develop tackling/technique
What Barrow Brings to the Broncos
The name of Barrow’s game is speed and versatility. He’s not a violent striker or a thumper. He is a ‘chase’ linebacker who is going to do a lot of cleaning up the dirty work of the Broncos’ defensive line.
He has a lot of work to do in terms of developing his technique, but the intangible qualities are in spades for Barrow and he has phenomenal athletic ability. Perhaps his most underrated trait is his ability to disengage from blockers thanks to long arms and violent hand usage.
The Broncos also got a guy with special teams ability in Barrow, who has the speed to cover a lot of ground and should be a key part of that unit right away in his career.
I think one of the coolest aspects about this kid as a person is the fact that he swapped the number 57 to number 18 (P.Manning’s number) as a senior as the unquestioned leader of the LSU defense and a player that exemplifies leadership and character.
As one of the most beloved players at LSU, Barrow is certain to bring a high character, athletic presence to the Denver Broncos’ linebacker group and will contend for starting ILB duties as a rookie with former third round pick Nate Irving.
When you watch Barrow play, there’s not a lot of plays that ‘wow’ you. He’s been a steady starter for 28 games over the last two seasons and earned the respect of fellow players and coaches at one of the best football schools in the country.
This is a guy that I could see the Broncos using similarly to Danny Trevathan if they wanted to based on his athleticism and size, but if Trevathan is entrenched in that WLB spot, Barrow seems to have the ability to be a three-down linebacker with special teams ability.
Lamin Barrow vs. Georgia (2013) via Draft Breakdown