BARRON INJURIES / LEGAL
Double sports hernia surgery following his senior season at Alabama. Did not workout at NFL Combine due to hernia surgery recovery. Ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at Alabama Pro Day, although Coach Nick Saban said he was still only 85% healed from hernia surgery. Slightly torn right pectoral muscle suffered in 2010 Auburn game, missed Capital One Bowl.
“I’ve never had a broken bone in my life. What I just had recently this double sports hernia, I’ve been playing with that for like two years. Anybody that’s got something to say about that, tell them to step on the field with me.”
Arrested in March 2011 for 2nd degree hindering prosecution (misdemeanor). Police said they didn’t believe his story about a one-car accident he was not present during yet involved his car. Barron said a little-known acquaintance he could not identify beyond a nickname (Bull), took his car without permission. Police determined Barron wasn’t involved in the accident, but was covering for his cousin who borrowed his car.
If that’s Barron’s only legal black mark, trying to protect his cousin who was the cause of an accident with no other parties involved or harmed, I’d say that’s not even a slight smudge on his character. No harm done, protect your own and set them straight without legal consequences hindering their improvement.
SCOUTS ON BARRON
Barron was an imposing defender at Alabama. He simply looked like a professional, from the way that he prepared and warmed up to his productivity and on-field presence. A stalwart at safety, he has the size and athletic ability to contribute right away in the NFL. He has the range and ball skills to make big plays and is an active defender against the run. Barron projects as a top-50 pick.
Barron reads routes and defends the run well. He has good hands and reacts quickly, allowing him to make plays on the ball, which he is often near. He is a sure tackler and uses sound foot technique to put himself in great position. He transitions well in coverage and can defend a variety of offensive players in different positions. Against the run, Barron comes downfield with a head of steam; he can also fluidly run down and cover fast receivers against the pass.
Barron can be lazy with his backpedal and will hesitate in transition due to his size, but these flaws don’t come up often. He occasionally launches himself into the ball carrier, a tendency that could be a liability in the NFL. Barron might not be an All-Pro as a rookie, but he showed few weaknesses in college while demonstrating many traits that will serve him well at the next level.
AUSTIN ON BARRON
Dallas, Mark Barron is your guy. Now’s not the time for Jerry to gamble with the team’s playoff future on workout roulette. King of the Combine Dontari Poe is not a well-calculated risk needed for a team only a game removed from the division championship. The same high results can be found in a player with a solid, consistent background of on-field domination within the game of football and beyond. This is a good team with a solid core yet still a few full-time starters, depth players, and a win or two away from consistently reaching the playoffs.
A sound decision must be made with the first Cowboys pick in the 2012 draft, ala Tyron Smith in 2011. Once again it’s a must to draft a player who will start right away at a position of absolute need. Barron is not a sexy pick, it won’t scream “I’m Jerry the Genius” if it hits pay dirt, and it’s not reaching beyond the norm to appear as a football guru if he solidifies the secondary. None of that makes a bit difference when facing the Giants with the NFC East title and playoffs on the line.
“I’ve been chasing that (NFL) dream since I was six years old. My family is already proud of me for what I’ve accomplished thus far. But for them to see me accomplish my dream will make them even more proud. And when that day finally gets here I can’t tell you what my emotions are going be like. I’ve been working hard for a long time. That’s just going to represent success and shows that hard work does pay off.”
As for the ‘box safety” label, it may sound catchy but is selling Barron’s skill package way short of reality. He does possess a complete skill set that allows him to have success outside the box also. The Alabama defense doesn’t demand his position to play outside of the box often. But when he was asked to, he wasn’t a shutdown player in man coverage by any means but not a weak link to exploit either. In zone coverage he was very productive. He also had good success one-on-one with tight ends, unlike many ‘box safeties’.
Playing deep and center field isn’t beyond his abilities. It’s not due to great range, but his instincts, anticipation, and ball skills allow him to play much faster in space. All-in-all he’s capable outside the box and certainly not a coverage liability like Roy Williams as some are conjuring.
Of note, in his first year starting (2009) he had 8 INTs for 125 return yards (5th in school history). He claims to have played with his double sports hernia ever since, which is now surgically repaired.
The overall Barron package offers a player who does nothing but greatly succeed at every level he competes, in any sport. His teams have reached the highest possible levels of success (HS State Champions, 2-time NCAA National Champions). And as a player he has earned many of the highest individual honors one can attain (MVP HS Football State Championship Game, HS Football All-State Team, HS Track State Champion, and 3-time Collegiate Football All-American).
The guy is a competitive winner both as a team leader and an individual. It’s unreasonable to claim injuries are a concern with a player who never sat out one regular season game in all four years of college. Apparently he plays through pain, even a double-sports hernia. If Jerry wants to be the next Al Davis as it now often appears to the public, then he should use Al’s famous mantra just this once when selecting the 14th pick…“Just Win, Baby”. Without a doubt, Mark Barron just wins.