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Watch: Detroit Lions LB Derrick Barnes’ college highlights

Take a look at the future of Lions linebacking.

Syndication: The Enquirer Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Detroit Lions made an aggressive move by trading up to acquire Purdue linebacker Derrick Barnes and a quick look at his highlight reel makes it easy to see why they love his potential.

“We had a lot of buy-in and we were all hot on Barnes from Purdue,” Lions’ general manager Brad Holmes said at his post-2021 NFL draft press conference. “Wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to still acquire him back to 153, so wanted to see if we could get ourselves in position to make the trade to get both (WR Amon-Ra St. Brown) of them. We were able to do it and have success with the trade, so extremely happy. Barnes is, you talk about elite character and intangibles, and you guys have heard me say thousands of times, those are the players that we’re looking for.”

Barnes is a modern era linebacker and his ability to merge old school mentality with above-average athleticism made him a very appealing prospect and one the Lions didn’t want to miss out on.

“Barnes, he’s so intriguing because, yes, he might have that approach and demeanor of, like you say, kind of that older school linebacker, but that dude is fast,” Holmes continued. “He’s explosive. He can really run. He’s got long arms. He can shed blocks. He plays with tenacity. He has a background as a pass-rusher, so he’s got the versatility to do a lot of different things and I think that that’s needed in today’s game.

Let’s take a closer look at some of those traits by looking at Barnes college highlights, starting with the video produced by the Lions’ media department.

Quick clips

Game cut-ups, breakdowns

Interviews