ESPN draft analyst thinks people are sleeping on Mike Barrett

Michigan football fans are well aware of linebacker Mike Barrett’s prowess on the football field, because they watched his long, arduous journey.

Barrett, formerly a quarterback in high school, came to Ann Arbor and took three years before he started to see the field as Don Brown’s viper in 2020. But with Brown’s firing and the retooling of the defense, Barrett fell back into obscurity. Until rival MSU’s quick tempo repeatedly caught the defense off-guard in 2021, and Barrett was then-coordinator Mike Macdonald’s solution to having to make fast personnel substitutions.

In 2022, Barrett started rising as a key linebacker, with the November game at Rutgers being his coming out party. By 2023, his sixth year, he was a starter, a team captain, and an indispensable member of the defense. Now NFL draft scouts are starting to see how good he is.

ESPN NFL draft guru Matt Miller took to X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday to share that Barrett’s performance in the Rose Bowl was top-notch and that perhaps people aren’t recognizing just how good the former Wolverine is.

Though Barrett isn’t going to get a lot of publicity by most draft gurus, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s made a stronger impression on NFL general managers, coaches and scouts. Certainly, some who know him well (ahem — Jim Harbaugh or Mike Macdonald) would make a case to selecting him earlier than some others might?

Perhaps even Miller will have a change of heart from his latest seven-round mock draft (subscription required) where he slotted Barrett in the sixth round to the Seahawks.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire