With the draft winding down and only two more picks left, the Lions have to start looking for players who can provide special teams value and quality depth. That’s where the linebacker from Utah comes into play. Barton can play as an off ball linebacker providing depth at a previously thin position and see time on the field early on as a special teams contributor.
Barton could possibly even see himself take over the role of current starting linebacker Christian Jones. Barton is an instinctive linebacker and can more than hold his own in coverage. Adding a linebacker this late who can cover receivers effectively could see him get on the field as a linebacker on third down pass situations.
Because he has experience playing many positions he could see his value go from an undrafted grade to a late round flier. However, because of his coverage abilities and potential to help out on special teams, the Lions could very well take the chance on him this late in the draft.
Matt Miller wrote that Barton “will be the type of core special teamer some organizations save a roster spot for” and compares him to previous Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead. This is the type of guy that should definitely be on the Lions’ radar in the seventh round as they look to improve their special teams and depth at linebacker.