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‘Bama’s Barron Plans on Being a Hit at NFL Level

Posted by Eric Allen on February 29, 2012 – 2:50 pm

The Jets need a safety or two and their shopping may start in a couple of weeks when the NFL’s league year commences. Both Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool will be unrestricted free agents on March 13, so that leaves starter Eric Smith and reserve Tracy Wilson on the roster. Even if the Green & White add a safety in free agency or via a trade, they may be looking to add another one on draft weekend.

Alabama’s Mark Barron is the top safety prospect in the draft and he will probably be the only S selected in April’s first round. The 6’2”, 218-pounder will likely merit strong consideration from the Jets if he is still on the board in the middle of the opening round.

“You keep on hearing about Mark Barron, the safety from Alabama, is a good fit for what they need and that’s kind of where he should go,” ESPN’s Todd McShay told newyorkjets.com at the combine. “He had double-hernia surgery last month, and everyone says it’ll be fine and it’s something that will not affect him long-term or even in the short term when you’re talking about his rookie season. I think he would be a great fit there.”

Barron, who plans on working out in late March, is NFL-ready after playing both safety positions for Nick Saban at ‘Bama.

“We played in a very difficult defense, first of all,” he said. “We did a lot of different schemes. My role was, as far as communicating, I had a lot to do with that on the back end. And I felt like sometimes I brought some energy to it with the hits I make and things of that nature. I did a lot of different things, so I can’t pinpoint one exact role for me on defense.”

The versatile Barron lined up at free safety this past season and strong safety the year before. He was known not only as a big hitter — he collected 12 interceptions during his collegiate career.

“He is physical. He will come up and hit you,” McShay said. “The thing about Barron is there is no aspect of the game that he doesn’t do well. He’s not the best cover safety, if you will. He has some limitations in terms of man-to-man, but he can cover the tight end. He has good range in terms of being back. In being the high man in the three-safety or three-defensive-backs look, he comes up and is physical against the run. He can play in the box.

“I just love the way he plays the game, the tempo he brings and the leadership he brings in the secondary. It’s hard to imagine that he’s not a successful impact type of player who can be a leader on a defense.”

When asked by a reporter if he prefers to make a bone-crushing hit or an interception, Barron leaned to the takeaway but acknowledged both have their place.

“I like making plays, period. I would say interception because that’s more of a game-changer. That affects the game more,” he said. “But I like hitting and making interceptions.”

Quality safeties often have to wait around for a bit on draft weekend. Ed Reed, the Miami product who played for Rex Ryan in Baltimore and already has a jacket ready at the Hall of Fame, was selected No. 24 overall by the Ravens in the 2002 draft. A year later, USC’s Troy Polamalu went No. 16 overall to Pittsburgh. The 49ers’ Dashon Goldson, a Pro Bowler who had six interceptions in 2001 and is scheduled be a prized free agent this spring, was a fourth-round selection out of Washington in the 2007 draft.

“If a guy is a good player, then he’s just a good player,” Barron said. “I don’t see why position-wise, if you have a better player that’s a safety and then you have a corner that may not be a better football player than that guy, I don’t see a reason why that corner should go ahead of that safety if that safety is a better player. I’ve seen that happen, so I just don’t understand it. But that’s not my position to pick players and who gets drafted where.”

Not a huge fan of the NFL’s safety rules, Barron plans on continuing his aggressive play at the next level.

“Honestly, I don’t like them because the way I’ve been taught to play the game is hit and I hit hard,” he said. “I guess I’ll have to make some adjustments. Hopefully I’ll definitely make them — I’m not sure if I will because like I said that’s the way I was taught to play the game.”

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Posted in Eric Allen | 38 Comments »

38 Responses to “‘Bama’s Barron Plans on Being a Hit at NFL Level”

  1. By sal on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Sounds like what the doctor ordered, dont know if leonard can finish a season, and Poole, they could keep him around for the right price, but they need a better player there for sure!!

  2. By carl on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    We need a hard hitting safety to put some fear in players goin across the middle of the field!!! Go Jets!!!!

  3. By wayne on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    If he had serious coverage skills, he’d be playing CB. It’s why you don’t go drafting S real high unless he’s special….Good luck to the kid, but a good vet would be the best move at this spot……..There’s no one in this draft that’s going to miraculously shut down 2 talented TEs playing up in NE. Improve your ability to get to the QB and contain them. At best………Once again that’s not a guess……We’ve seen it done…….Talk of getting rookie safeties who are going to come in and stop Brady, Hernandez and Gronk? On which planet?

  4. By scjoe on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Well, that is really noble of Mr Barron, but I would have to believe that is the mindset of any top prospect coming out any year, and that includes Vernon Gholston. I think safety is ONE of the priority’s for this club, but I think the injury to Barron has cast a bit of a shadow over whether or not the Jets consider him at 16. I can envision NE selecting him with one of their late 1st round picks. When you have the luxury of having six picks in the first three rounds you can afford to gamble a bit more. Don’t I wish the Jets had that kind of a problem!

  5. By Bradley Schuttinger on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Draft Mark Barron!

  6. By Jimmer on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    I had to stop reading the story at the part that he’s not very good at man to man coverage. The next line made it look worse about he can cover a TE. Not the TE’s coming on today.

  7. By Allan O'Dane on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Troy P. Drafted at #16…we have the 16th pick…Barron best safety in this years draft….mmmmm

  8. By Jack on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    I would very much love to see the jets take Mark Barron with the 16th pick even know he won’t be ready to go till August.

  9. By robertpapalia on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Pick up a safety in free agency. Use the first pick on a right tackle or a pass rushing linebacker. The Jets can`t afford to make a Gholston like mistake in the first round.

  10. By Tom Spicer on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    I am okay with them taking him but they have to address other spots in free agency before I am 100% on board with taking him in round 1. Is it possible that with his injury we could get him with the 16th pick in the 2nd round?

  11. By jetfan36 on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    if upshaw is gone @ 16 get mark barron

  12. By Kevin on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    I like taking Barron he would be the safe choice we could pick up a FA Safety Dashon Goldson would be nice then pick up Barron and have 2 outstanding safeties to work with. I think with an actual offseason Maybin will turn out as a starting OLB but we do need someone there but I’m not sold on Upshaw I see Gholston written all over that. we need a wr but not this early in the draft and if we get Edwards back in FA then we would be good there because I think Turner will be a good one that develops and we have Kerley already. I’d love to see us pick up Peyton I don’t like this Henne nonsense i’m hearing if you are going to do that then put McElroy as the starter because he is better than both Sanchez and Henne

  13. By Matt on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    They are better off Drafting Harrison Smith in the 2nd round and if possible drafting Branch in the First as long as they can trade down into the twenties and pick up some picks like an extra third and fifth rounder. These messages board are crazy with predictions but looking at the tape in my opinion trading out the first might be a good idea I’m not sold on Upshaw or Ingram they seen like 4-3 guys and Barron is the best safety in a weak class that’s not saying much. I’ve seen some of Branch’s tape he has a great motor and played at multiple positions already meaning his learning curve is better. Harrison was one of the captains on his team and had 93 tackles and 7ints last year he is a playmaker. The Jets gotta stop going 4 the big names.

  14. By Matt on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    I’m diehard Jets Fan but if the Jets mess this draft up and Mike T is the GM after this season and put together a weak team I’m going to have to just not watch football believe me I use to watch Basketball its been about 6 or 7 years ever since the Nets traded Martin I haven’t watched.. So please don’t draft this guy or any of the other top so called prospects Bama had a lot of good players on there team and they played good as a unit and even though I think a great pick would be Branch I just want to see solid picks if the Jets draft right they could see at least three starters in the first 3rds that can come in contribute but I think Mike T is the wrong for the job Please No OL men in the first round the draft is too deep with them!!!!

  15. By GaryC on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    you better look at Nick Perry of USC if Kuechly is gone seeing that fans are so enamored with numbers at the combine.his numbers were as good as anybodys and that includes Ingram and upshaw.I am still hoping that marshawn lynch is giving the franchise tag, which can open it up for jets to go after Red Bryant, are you listening,Tannenbaum,Oh,Tannenbaum.If all else fails I wouldn’t mind trading down a little and maybe taking a flyer on Hill the wideout from Georgia Tech,good school also and he seemed pretty down to earth when I saw him interviewed on Espn.he would follow calvin johnson and donario thomas as widouts who made it out of Georgia Tech,even though they run the triple option.

  16. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    Agree with you about Barron in the second, Spicer, anyone with any kind of injury that impacts on this year makes me nervous given how lukewarm our last few drafts have been.

  17. By Chris B on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    Totally agree Matt. I think we should get a OLB in 1st and take Harrison in 2nd.

  18. By robertpapalia on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    Just heard something very distressing on the Boomer and Carton show. Mike Tannenbaum said Wayne Hunter will be the starting right tackle in 2012. If this is so Jets fans can expect whoever is the qb this year will get killed. And if this is also true this is the height of irresponsibility on the part of Tannenbaum. This is why the Jets have not been to A Super Bowl in 43 years. Mismanagement, And nothing but mismanagement.

  19. By efxm0nk on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    We can get Barron if we trade up early in the 2nd. Because of his injury and so many other better players (at diff positions) he should still be available then. We need to hope DeCastro is on the board come 16, get him and get Barron in the 2nd. This guys is good but hes no Ed Reed or Polamalu…

  20. By john ski on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    Getting Barron at #16 is gonna be tough since he’s a great size for a safety. We definitely cannot give up two picks for him so we really need to get a good look at everyone. We have plenty of positions to fill so we’ll do pretty well at hopefully two of them. Since the Pats have figured out that tight ends kill us, and the regular safety in general, our coaches are gonna have to figure out a way to counter this. I think we should go for Mychal Kendrick as a hybrid safety/linebacker. He’s as fast as a regular safety, his leap is fantastic and at 240lbs he can stop a tight end. Besides, even Neon Deion said the safeties didn’t look good this year at the combine.

  21. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    robertp, if we get Peyton we’ll put Hunter on the bench so fast he won’t know what hit him. If we don’t, it’s becoming clear that the FO is willing to muddle through with some mediocre players — exchanging Scott for Johnson, for instance, or trying to get an injured, 2 yrs older Edwards back on the cheap — and just let Rex twist in the wind unless he pulls off a miracle. Look at it this way: The less we spend and the fewer big changes we make in 2012, the more we’re likely to spend and the more big changes we’re likely to make in 2013.

  22. By Tom Spicer on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    robertpapalia, That is the worst news I could have heard. I could deal with the same RB, WR, OLB & SAFETY. But I can not deal with having Wayne Hunter back as the starting right tackle. If he is back in that same spot we will be the same as last year or worse the guy can not block. He get your QB plastered on a consitant basis. If we NOTHING in free agency & only draft 1 player have it be Hunters REPLACEMENT!

  23. By steven on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    POE is the game changer the Jets never had. The Jets need a pass rush before they need a safety. POE will drive the pocket right back into the quarterback and make blitzes possible. He will make it possible for the Jets to do things possibly never seen in the NFL. Teams won’t be able to run or pass with POE. Even Bart Scott will get to the quarterback up the middle with POE. Safetys are available later on in the draft

  24. By steven on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    James Farrior would be a good addition to the defense

  25. By steve on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    fan since 97,watching every game since game ticket came out and must say….goooooo jets!!!! get the players mike,line em up lets goooo!!! j e t s !!

  26. By Howard on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    should the jets take mark barron int he 1st round, they can come back in round 2 with vinny curry and round 3 with bruce irvin, now there is power and speed at olb and mayby jeff demps in round 4 rb/wr out of fla.after the summer olypics dynamite player.at some point they need a punter and place kicker

  27. By robertpapalia on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    James Farrior is over the hill. We need to look in a different direction.

  28. By Karan on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    It would be good to have James Farrior return to the Jets. I understand he’s up there in age, but he could bring some of that smashmouth Steeler play he had in Pittsburgh. Mark Barron would really be a good fit here, I have a feeling the Cowboys will pick him up before us.

  29. By Karan on Mar 2, 2012 | Reply

    I hope Tannenbaum isn’t serious about Wayne Hunter starting. This guy grows stubborn year by year doesn’t he?

  30. By Clarke W. Griswald on Mar 3, 2012 | Reply

    There is nothing he (Mark Barron) doesn’t do well. He’s not the best cover safety and he has limitations in man to man…” Am I the only one who finds this statement incredibly, contradictory and stupid??? There’s nothing he doesn’t do well, at all. Oh, except covering and playing man to man, yet somehow, he’s going to do great in the N.F.L. covering Gronkowski. Is this guy really an expert? How do I get a job as an analyst on ESPN, I need to know.

  31. By bestjets on Mar 4, 2012 | Reply

    all the talk of manning what is sanchez worth on the open market would seattle go for him with their pick with luck and griffith gone

  32. By Doug aka BIGD on Mar 4, 2012 | Reply


  33. By scjoe on Mar 4, 2012 | Reply

    bestjets, you couldn’t possibly be talking about Seattle’s pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft can you? If Sanchez became available and IF Seattle was interested we would likely be talking about a 4th round pick, not a first.

  34. By adam on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    i say take trent richardson cuz their are plenty of pass rushers in this draft class and sign thomas mcoud..saftey from atlanta..hes only 26 and is a ball hawk..and FIRE Mike T…just the fact that he said the jets wont be big players in the free agency and wants wayne hunter to start..did he not see how the jets struggled this past year

  35. By Rick on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    +1 on Wayne’s comment. Finally a the voice of reason. Yes safety is a need. No, you do not select a player in the draft strictly based on need. Mark Barron is a solid
    safety. But, he is not a game changer ala Eric Berry, Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu. We need to go with a vet and select a pass rusher. If we rush the QB’s and cut there time down by .5 a second the interceptions will come.

  36. By steven on Mar 10, 2012 | Reply

    There are other safeties available that can be got later on. If the Jets get Poe to go with Bo, they will collapse the pockets up the middle and give the safteys and easier job. By the way Get a good tight end like Dallas Clark who has been released by the colts. Can’t do better than Dallas Clark

  37. By steven on Mar 10, 2012 | Reply

    the first pick needs to be a game changing player. Poe would be a game changer. He and Bo and Wilkerson and Ellis would make the DL a WALL Street

  38. By steven on Mar 10, 2012 | Reply

    A fast 6’6 Tight End would be a game changer also

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