How Michael Barrett fits with the Carolina Panthers

With the 240th pick in the NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers selected linebacker Michael Barrett.

Barrett recorded 65 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and three forced fumbles in 2023. Barrett was also voted a team captain in 2023 and has the most wins as a player in program history.

Barrett is the epitome of a ‘glue guy.’ He is the first player in and the last one out, he is a student of the game and understands the value of being coachable. There aren’t many players you would rather have in your locker room from a chemistry and effort point of view.

His best asset is his brain. Barrett doesn’t have the physical traits of his former running mate Junior Colson, but he does understand football on a very deep level. He’s the type of player who can call the defense on the field and understand everybody’s role and fit. After his hopefully long playing career is over, expect to see Barrett move into a coaching role if that’s what he desires.

Barrett joins a Panthers team that is coming off the worst record in football. Of course, Barrett was around for the Michigan program’s overhaul from 2020-2023, so he understands how to be a part of a transitioning team.

So, will Barrett play in year one? It’s doubtful. The Panthers don’t have a strong linebacking group, but Barrett is an outside shot to become a starter regardless. It’s possible he fills in for a potential injury, but Carolina spent their third-round pick on a different linebacker who probably has depth chart priority. Either way, if the situation does come up where Barrett has to play serious snaps on defense, he will be as prepared as possible. For now, I would project him to play mostly on special teams or late in games as a reserve backer.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire