Duke Blue Devils
Weight- 316 lbs
Graham Barton was given a 3-star rating and had 21 offers coming into college. He opted to play for Duke despite a number of offers from high profile schools. After making his decision to join Duke he was reported saying:
“The coaching staff, the players I got to meet, the kids that were also in my recruiting class, just anyone I met on campus was a joy. And I felt comfortable here, I felt like it was a home.”
In his first season for Duke in 2020, Barton played 430 snaps at center in a reduced schedule due to the pandemic. On 238 passing black snaps, he allowed nine pressures, zero sacks and five penalties.
In his sophomore year, Barton was moved to left tackle and was the team starter at the position for all 12 games. On 392 pass blocking snaps, he allowed 20 pressures, six sacks and was flagged three times.
In 2022, Barton continued his role as the teams starting left tackle. He played in all 13 games and was one of the best players during the team’s bowl game against UCF, where he allowed zero pressures and zero sacks. On 487 pass blocking snaps, Barton allowed 10 pressures and two sacks. He led the team in penalties with seven flags called against him. But his run blocking was the best in his career.
During his 2023 season, Barton played in nine games, missing time twice with a lower body injury. On 258 passing plays, Barton allowed 11 pressures and two sacks while playing at left tackle. Duke finished the year ranking first in the ACC in sacks allowed (17) and tackles for loss allowed (4), and also finished ranking third in the ACC in rushing touchdowns. Barton was the cornerstone of that offensive line that had huge success last season.
505 Total snaps
258 Pass block snaps
NFL Combine/Pro Day:
All-ACC first team (2023, 2022)
Run Blocking- 79/100
Pass Blocking- 84/100
• Very explosive off the snap and gets immediately into full throttle
• Extremely flexible for his size being able to get low and stay low
• Has good quickness on pulls and hip flex to get around and seal off defenders
• Has very good agility to burst into the second level or on screens
• Shows good footwork on reach blocks
• Hand placement is generally good
• Experience playing as an inside offensive lineman which will be vital
• Very intelligent player that reads the defense extremely well before the snap and during the play
• Consistent finisher
• Biggest problem will be arm length. It’s way below the average length required to be effective in the NFL, meaning a move to guard would fit him best.
• Struggled with flags due to losing leverage and trying to arm-bar defenders. This is due to his lack of length
• Can get his hands up late on second-level blocks
• Had issues with speed-rushers that could work around him before he could get set
• Panicked a few times on tape when defenders stunted against him
• Hand placement on pass blocking needs refinement
Graham Barton’s college career was rife with obstacles. He played through a pandemic, two losing seasons, switching positions, and endured a head coach change. Regardless, Barton stayed steady, positive and most importantly, effective. He offers teams great flexibility and versatility having played across the line and given his shorter arm length, a shift to offensive guard in the NFL seems the best option for success.
What coaches will love will be his burst and explosiveness and the ability to stay on block consistently. His agility and high degree of football I.Q make him ideal to fit in any offensive line and certainly one that likes to have inside linemen move into the second level regularly. He does well showing solid technique, core strength and balance to extend blocks and create good sized lanes in the run game.
His footwork leaves him susceptible to edge rushers, and the timing to his hand striking can be out of sync allowing faster and quick twitch defenders to get around him.
He needs plenty of coaching in this aspect of his blocking technique and is vital if Barton is to succeed in the NFL.
Jackson Carmen, Cincinnati Bengals
Early second round
(Consensus ranking based on the average ranking from 90 major scoring services)
Previous scouting reports: