2014 Combine

Player Profile: Alabama S Mark Barron

Posted Feb 27, 2012

Most of the Alabama players in this draft have the same thing to say about the defensive system they ran in college under coach Nick Saban.

"That's something I knew when I first went to Bama is we had a complex defense and an NFL-type scheme," said former safety Mark Barron.

"Going into it, I knew it was going to prepare me for the next level. Actually, that was one of the reasons why I wanted to go to Alabama. I feel like that has prepared me for the next level."

The defensive unit that helped Alabama win a national championship this past year could have as many as six players go in the first two days of the draft.

Because of his athleticism, and the system he played under in college, Barron is projected as an NFL-ready player who can step in and play right away for most any team.

Player Profile

Who is Mark Barron?

Barron (6-1, 213) is a natural athlete who won high school state track titles in the long jump, high jump, shot put and discus.

He started 38 career games at Alabama and ranks eighth in school history with 12 interceptions. He had 66 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions, five pass break ups and a fumble recovery as a senior last season. He had double hernia surgery after the season, so there are concerns about his health.

What he had to say:

"I don't have an exact time for when I'll be 100 percent but I plan on working out late March."

What experts are saying:

"Barron is the only 2012 safety prospect with a first-round grade," said ESPN's Todd McShay. "He does everything well, showing instincts and playmaking skills in coverage and the ability to be a physical run defender when playing near the box."

Why he fits the Lions:

He has the size, athletic ability and experience to be considered an upgrade at the position for the Lions. He's considered the only top-flight safety in the draft. Barron is a natural at the position and played both strong and free safety in college.

Why the Lions could pass:

Barron won't be cleared to work out for teams until March. He'll have to prove that he's healthy during his pro day and individual workouts ... what will teams do if he struggles in those workouts?

The Lions could also decide that Amari Spievey has developed enough over two years, with no real offseason since making the switch to safety, to address other players and positions with similar grades at No. 23.