Philadelphia Eagles Select DE Derek Barnett at No. 14

Derek Barnett was one of the elite pass rushers in the 2017 NFL Draft class and had quite a few teams interested in him throughout the draft process. When everything was said and done, however, the Philadelphia Eagles were the team that believed in him the most and made him the No. 14 overall pick.

Last season with the Tennessee Volunteers, Barnett showcased why the Eagles are so high on him. He racked up 56 total tackles to go along with 13.0 sacks, an interception, five defended passes, and two forced fumbles. Barnett is without question capable of changing an NFL defense if he lives up to his full potential.

Barnett passed former NFL superstar Reggie White at the top of the sack record at Tennessee in his three years in Knoxville. That alone brought his name to a new level. Many have compared Barnett’s game to current Green Bay Packers’ star outside linebacker Nick Perry, who was just rewarded for his play with a big contract in free agency.

NFL.com has written up a breakdown of Barnett’s game and how he will fit in at the next level, which is must-read material for Eagles’ fans.

“Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages.”

Philadelphia will need Barnett to step into an immediate role next season. He is ready for that challenge and will not disappoint the Eagles’ fan base if he lives up to this potential.

Do you think Derek Barnett will turn into a star for the Eagles’ defense? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

Stay tuned to This Given Sunday for more coverage of the 2017 NFL Draft!

About Evan Massey

Evan Massey is a sportswriter that has been in the industry for the past six years. He has seen his work featured on Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN and Bleacher Report. Known for his work ethic and ability to cover any league and team, Evan is always willing to talk sports with fans and debate any topic. Follow him on Twitter at @Massey_Evan, or email him: emasseysports@gmail.com.

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