NBC Sports and Connor Rogers put out a new NFL Mock Draft, and with the 21st pick, Miami is adding a player who will improve the offense on day one, which I am sure will make Darrell Bevell, Frank Smith, and Mike McDaniel very happy.


Round 1, Pick #21: Graham Barton, G/C -Duke

“This is one of my favorite fits in the draft. Barton’s movement skills and hand usage make him a menace in the zone run game. He’d slide in at guard on Miami’s offensive line, despite playing tackle for Duke the last three seasons.”

NFL.com Draft Profile


Reviewing Barton’s tape is a pleasurable experience in offensive line evaluation, as his tenacity and know-how are on full display throughout. Though he played at a high level at left tackle, center will likely be his NFL home. Barton is an explosive drive blocker with the body control and leg drive to keep opponents centered and finish the job. His hands are sudden, accurate and strong in both phases, but a lack of length will create occasional challenges on the next level. His fluidity creates an advantage as a second-level climber, and he’s highly capable in the screen game. Barton’s technique, toughness and athleticism are exactly what teams will be looking for from an early starter with Pro Bowl potential.


  • Possesses the bend, core strength and technique of an NFL starter.
  • Patient but firm, exploding into the block and running his feet to secure.
  • Fits and finishes blocks with excellent body control and very strong claws.
  • Smooth climber with good adjustments to targets in space.
  • Pass sets are clean with broad base and twitchy hands.
  • Counters rush movements with well-postured mirror and sticky hands.
  • Arches back and unlocks lowers, creating flexion and leverage with pass anchor.
  • Once he’s settled into defenders in run/pass, he’s usually the winner.


  • Arms are shorter than NFL standard for his position.
  • Occasional struggles getting into position for redirects when beaten.
  • Needs to guard against lunging as a second-level blocker.
  • Corrals escaping defenders with his arms, which could bring flags.

NFL Draft Buzz Draft Profile


Graham Barton from Ravenwood High School was rated a 3-star recruit by ESPN and handed a 3-star grade by 247 Sports. Following high school, Barton opted to join Duke.

In 2020 as a freshman Barton saw action in 6 games and played a total of 430 snaps for the Blue Devils. He allowed 5 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, and no sacks while playing at center.

As a sophomore in 2021 he played in 12 games and a total of 747 snaps. He conceded 10 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, and 6 sacks while playing at left tackle.

In 2022 as a junior Barton saw action in 12 games and totaled 826 snaps. He gave up 8 QB hurries, no QB hits, and 2 sacks while playing at left tackle.

In 2023 as a senior Barton saw action in 9 games and played a total of 496 snaps for the Blue Devils. He allowed 9 QB hurries, no QB hits, and 2 sacks while playing at left tackle.

  • Embodies explosive power from the snap, leveraging bursts into formidable blocking force.
  • Excels in space blocking, showcasing range, tenacity, and a relentless drive to finish.
  • Brings a robust and proportional frame, efficiently distributing mass to optimize blocking leverage.
  • Flexibility and adaptability allow him to sustain leverage and adjust mid-rep, crucial for maintaining control.
  • Deploys a wide base and controlled hand placement to envelop and anchor against rushers effectively.
  • His football IQ and versatility shine, processing in-game dynamics seamlessly across multiple line positions.
  • His background at center and athleticism make him a fit for zone schemes, offering rare mobility for his size.
  • Exhibits the ‘scrapper’ mentality, tenaciously fighting for real estate and maintaining block control.
  • Arm length near the average could prompt a shift from tackle to an interior position at the professional level.
  • At times, exposes his frame to power moves due to hand placement and stance nuances.
  • Vulnerable to sophisticated rush techniques, occasionally misjudging strike timing and positioning.
  • While his tenacity is a strength, it can lead to technique oversights, particularly in pass protection scenarios.
  • Needs to fine-tune his blocking consistency, ensuring optimal use of his physical attributes against NFL-caliber opponents.

Graham Barton presents as a multifaceted offensive line prospect whose collegiate tenure at Duke has primed him for the physical and mental rigors of the NFL. His initial burst off the line and his ability to maintain blocks in space showcase NFL-ready attributes, particularly beneficial in zone schemes where his agility and spatial intelligence can be maximized. Yet, the leap to the NFL will test his adaptability, especially against the more complex defensive structures and the caliber of pass rushers at the professional level. His arm length, hovering around the average, could be a leverage point for NFL defenders, potentially steering him toward an interior line position where his strength and blocking stability can be more effectively utilized.

Barton’s relentless approach and football acumen are apparent from his steady ascent and consistent performance at Duke. His leverage technique, core stability, and balance enable him to secure and extend blocks, creating pathways in the run game—a trait NFL teams prize in linemen who bring a tenacious and enduring presence to the field. However, the technical aspects of his game, especially in pass protection, will require refinement. His footwork, at times, leaves him susceptible to edge rushers, and his hand strike timing can grant quick access to defensive linemen. These technical nuances are coachable but underscore a developmental curve essential for Barton to transition successfully into an NFL starter.

His ability to play across the line is an asset, offering teams flexibility in offensive line configuration. The critical factor for Barton will be his capacity to assimilate NFL-level coaching, particularly in honing his technique to mitigate the challenges posed by his arm length and in optimizing his athletic capabilities. If he can evolve these aspects of his game, Barton’s potential as an impactful, versatile NFL lineman is significant. His evolution from a three-star recruit to a notable NFL prospect is indicative of his growth trajectory and potential, hinting that, with the appropriate developmental support, he could solidify his place as a dependable, versatile lineman in the NFL.

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