Bleacher Report thinks Tennessee Titans UDFA Alex Barnes is the one who is turning heads the most at training camp, but that’s a bit off the mark.
If you were to pick one Tennessee Titans UDFA who is turning heads at camp, it likely wouldn’t be running back Alex Barnes.
Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton was tasked with picking one UDFA from every team’s training camp that is turning heads, and his choice for the Titans was Barnes.
Here’s Moton’s write-up on the Kansas State product.
Barnes comes into the league as a bigger ball-carrier (6’0?, 226 lbs) who can wiggle away from defenders in open space. Last year, he handled a large load at Kansas State, registering 256 carries for 1,355 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. The former Wildcat also flashed his pass-catching ability with 20 receptions for 194 yards. The rookie may push David Fluellen for his roster spot.
While Barnes has done a nice job in camp and had a ton of hype coming in, he’s been consistently outperformed by fellow back and former 2017 fifth-round pick, Jeremy McNichols, who has seen first-team reps in the absence of Derrick Henry.
That’s why I gave McNichols a shout out in a recent article about under-the-radarTitans players who could make the roster. He’s stepping up in a big way with Henry having been sidelined since the very first day of practice.
As far as Barnes pushing David Fluellen for a roster spot goes, chances are it won’t happen. Fluellen has bulked up during the offseason so that the Titans can use him as a fullback in 2019. Obviously, that fact also hurts McNichols’ prospects of making the team, as well.
Fluellen’s versatility in that regard gives him a leg up on every other running back aside from Henry and Dion Lewis. Even if Fluellen wasn’t in the picture, an argument can be made more for McNichols making the cut over Barnes at the moment.
The best hope either McNichols or Barnes have in making the roster is if the Titans carry four running backs. It’s certainly possible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
The real answer: Derick Roberson
If I was going to pick one UDFA who has been turning heads at camp, it’s outside linebacker, Derick Roberson. In his final collegiate season at Sam Houston State, Roberson finished tied for the FCS lead in total sacks with 15.
That’s part of the reason I love his potential, but he’s also showing up in practice. Roberson is regularly beating the offensive lineman in front of him, and his speed and bend as a pass-rusher make him a force to be reckoned with.
In fact, keep an eye on him during the preseason. I have a feeling Roberson is going to make some noise and his name will be more well known once he sees some game action.
by Michael Moraitis