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Meet the Prospect: Graham Barton

Name: Graham Barton

Position: Offensive line

School: Duke

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 313

40-yard dash: Did not run

Bench: Did not jump

Vertical: Did not jump

Broad: Did not jump

3-cone: Did not run

20-yard shuttle: Did not run

View photos of NFL prospect Graham Barton.

How he fits: Barton just might be the most versatile offensive lineman in this draft. With teams having to make some hard decisions with gameday roster restrictions his kind of versatility can be a real commodity for a team.

He played center at Duke during his freshman season and kicked out to left tackle the last three seasons. He projects to be an athletic interior lineman in the NFL with the ability to bounce out and hold his own at tackle if needed. There's real value in a player like Barton.

The Lions recently signed Pro Bowl veteran guard Kevin Zeitler to a one-year contract that looks to have filled the one open starting guard spot left by the departure of Jonah Jackson who signed a big deal with the Los Angeles Rams, but adding competition and youth along the offensive line is never a bad thing.

Kayode Awosika and Colby Sorsdal will be in the mix for rotational roles, but there's certainly a chance that when the Lions select at No. 29 at the end of the first round one of the better interior offensive linemen, like Barton, could be available and potentially the top player on Brad Holmes' board. That's a terrific value spot to take one of the best interior linemen in the draft who can ramp up the competition for a starting role and potentially be the center of the future when Frank Ragnow is done playing. Duke has their Pro Day March 28 and Barton is expected to test and do on-field workouts in front of NFL personnel there.

Key observations: Barton allowed only two sacks and 11 total pressures at left tackle for Duke in 2023. He gave up only 41 total pressures over 1,000 pass-blocking snaps over the last three seasons, per Pro Football Focus.

What they had to say about him: "Barton originally began his career with the Blue Devils as a center but has been a starter at offensive tackle over the past two seasons. I see him ending up back at center in the NFL, where he has the potential to be a Day 1 starter because of his awareness.

"He's a tough and gritty blocker who plays through the whistle. As a run-blocker, Barton is excellent with rolling his hips and running his feet on contact. His flaws are exposed when facing longer defenders, as he struggles with counter moves and re-adjusting his hands to gain winning positions." - ESPN NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid.

Go behind the scenes with the Detroit Lions during 2024 free agency.

How he stacks up: Barton is the No. 27 overall player on NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's latest Top 50 prospects ranking.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic also lists Barton as his No. 27 prospect. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. lists Barton as the No. 1 center available in the class, ahead of Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson and West Virginia's Zach Frazier. Reid has Barton as his No. 26 overall prospect in the Draft one spot behind Powers-Johnson. ESPN Insider Field Yates list Barton as his No. 36 overall prospect.

What he had to say: "I played center my true freshman year and then moved out to tackle my last three years. I think I just appreciated every position for what it was," Barton told NBC at the NFL Scouting Combine last month.

"Every position is slightly different. The concepts and principles are the same. Just enjoyed being able to move around and show that I had that kind of versatility and look to translate that to the NFL."

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