|(What role will Barnes* play in the secondary in 2011?)|
2. Where does Kevin Barnes fit in Jim Haslett's 3-4 scheme?
Kevin Barnes was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft. During his rookie season, he was more or less redshirted and had little action on the field. This was due in part of former D-coordinator Greg Blache's uneasiness about using and depending on rookies in his system. Barnes saw much more significant playing time in 2010 getting snaps at both the corner and safety positions. Barnes finished 2010 starting at FS (primarily there because of injuries) and had a key interception that led to a Skins victory over the Jaguars in week 17.
Where Barnes fits in this system may indicate where the Skins would possibly target a corner in either the draft or free agency. Both Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon are free agents if/when a new CBA is put into place and I find it doubtful that both will be back with the Skins in 2011. This means obviously that the Skins will have some holes to fill at the CB position. But again, the Skins need will depend on what level Barnes has reached skill wise and how comfortable the team is using him at that level. Would Kevin Barnes be considered a #2 CB, a nickle CB or a DB that can be used in dime packages or in special packages (example: how the Skins used a 3 Safety package named Cobra while with Blatche)? Also, how deep is this team beyond Barnes? Byron Westbrook has been a solid player on special teams and occasional contributor in some packages. I don't know much about Reggie Jones and where his role will be with the Skins. The depth behind DeAngelo Hall would have to be considered questionable at best at the moment.
If the Skins can't work a new deal with Rogers at least there is some hope that the void could be addressed. This is a good year to be looking for starting corner talent. Nnamdi Asomugha, Johnathan Joseph and Antonio Cromartie will be available in free agency along with both Rogers and Buchananon. There there's the possibility of drafting a player. At #10 there is a chance that Prince Amukamara would be available. In the second round, the Skins may be able to snag a Jimmy Smith or Brandon Harris. They may look to develop a talent as well in the 5th round. Virginia Tech's Rashad Carmichael has been a name mentioned with the Skins a few times.
* Original Photo of Kevin Barnes found on Redskins.com