Scouting report: Connor Barwin

Connor Barwin

6'4, 255 pounds | Cincinnati | Defensive end

Strengths:
Barwin is a classic, overachieving defender with a non-stop motor. He brings it hard every down and plays with a lot of emotion. Incredibly quick off the snap. Good speed that allows him to close quickly on the ball carrier. Developing pass-rush moves. Uses a spin fairly well. Solid covering backs on screens and broke up a lot of passes. Hands aren't great but better than most defensive ends. Strong work ethic. Will immediately be a special teams factor. Really good against returns and blocked three punts as a senior.

Weaknesses: Barwin is still learning the intricacies of the position after spending only a season at defensive end. After starting his career at tight end, the coaches wanted Barwin's athleticism on the defense. Because of his inexperience at the position, Barwin needs to improve his technique. He especially needs to do better staying low off the snap. He'll get too high allowing blockers to get under his pads and drive him back. Strength for a defensive end is only average.

Final word: It's unknown if Barwin will be able to make the jump to outside linebacker. He doesn't appear to have great lateral agility and struggles changing direction. In college, he made up for any athletic deficiencies with hard work and relentless effort. Still, he'll need to get stronger. As the 2008 season progressed, few prospects came on like Barwin did. Converting from tight end, Barwin led Cincinnati with 11 sacks to go with 15.5 tackles for a loss and seven pass breakups. Played two years on the Bearcats' basketball team as a walk-on.

Round projection: 2

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