Position: Left Tackle
Age (Draft Day): 22
Height/Weight: 6'5", 315 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 5.3 seconds
From Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee, Graham Barton established himself as one of the best linemen in the country. Throughout his four-year letterman career, he receieved an impressive collection of accolades: a coveted state championship title, two consecutive All-State selections, and the prestigious 2019 Offensive Lineman of the Year award for his senior season. He earned a 3-star recruiting ranking, and Barton ultimately chose Duke and enrolled for the 2020 season.
He was pushed into the starting lineup due to injuries, and he seized the opportunity. He anchored the center position for the final five games of the 2020 season. Entering 2021, he earned the starting left tackle job for the Blue Devils and never looked back.
Mauler: Barton's greatest asset is his sheer nastiness. He plays with a fiery intensity, relishing the physical battle and dominating with brute force. Defenders who try to bulldoze through him often find themselves crumpled and gasping for air.
Athlete in Space: Barton moves surprisingly well in space. He is excellent at mirroring his opponent with impressive agility. His athleticism adds another dimension to his game, making him a versatile player who can excel in both man and zone blocking schemes.
Hand Technique: Barton isn't just a brute; he's also a technician. His hand placement and footwork are some of his biggest strengths. He re-anchors with lightning speed, cutting off defenders and shutting down pass-rush lanes with ruthless efficiency.
Short Arms: While Barton's play screams tackle, his 32 5/8ths arm length falls short of ideal NFL standards. This might force him to kick inside to guard at the next level, where his power and athleticism could still translate exceptionally well.
Recognition: At times, Barton can be a bit slow to diagnose stunts and blitzes, occasionally getting caught off guard by late rushers. Refinement in reading post-snap keys and quicker processing speed will be crucial for him to succeed against NFL-caliber competition.
Weight: If Barton is to make the switch to guard, adding some bulk wouldn't hurt. He could benefit from packing on 10-15 pounds to truly anchor against NFL interior linemen.
NFL Comparison: Ali Marpet
Barton's blend of power, athleticism, and technique is very similar to former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Ali Marpet. Like Marpet, Barton could most likely play tackle if needed but would be better suited to play guard. They are both great run blockers with nimble feet who were NFL-ready coming out of college.
Draft Projection: Top 40 Pick
Graham Barton may not be the flashiest tackle prospect, but his relentless work ethic, physical dominance, and ever-improving skillset make him a surefire contributor at the next level. While the arm-length question marks might push him inside, his versatility and talent could still land him a coveted spot within the top 40 picks of the 2024 NFL Draft.