WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Derrick Barnes didn't have to wait long to be selected on the final day of the 2021 NFL Draft. With the 10th pick of the fourth round, the Detroit Lions picked the Purdue linebacker on Saturday.
Barnes was the Boilermakers' leading tackler in 2020, tallying 54 stops in just six games. He also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss and an interception. As a junior in 2019, Barnes flashed his versatility as a pass rusher and accounted for 7.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
He was a two-star recruit coming out of Holy Trinity High School in Louisville, Kentucky. As a running back, he totaled 1,567 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in his final season before joining the Boilermakers.
Once he settled as a linebacker at Purdue, Barnes played 39 games and finished his career with 159 total tackles, 25 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
Following a productive senior season, he was invited to the Senior Bowl, where NFL scouts acknowledged his talents among some of the nation's best linebackers.
Barnes cemented his draft status in March during Purdue's Pro Day, where he ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash and a 37-inch vertical jump. He also recorded 29 repetitions of 225 pounds at the bench press.
Barnes will most likely contribute on special teams and serve as a backup at the professional level. He joins former Purdue quarterback David Blough with the Lions.
Barnes was the second Purdue player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft after wide receiver Rondale Moore was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round with the 49th overall pick.
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