2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Graham Barton

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report on Graham Barton, LT, Duke

The NFL Draft will begin on April 25, 2024. We take a look at Graham Barton, a consensus top-50 prospect who had a stellar college career.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft scouting reports.

A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Barton made an immediate impact at Duke, starting five of the final six contests during his freshman campaign. He followed that up by starting almost every game at left tackle the next three seasons for a whopping total of 39 starts. After a stellar season in 2022, ranking as the fifth-best tackle in college with an 88.2 PFF grade, Barton came back for his senior season and continued to refine his craft.


Graham Barton, LT, Duke

Name: Graham Barton
Jersey: No. 62
Position: Left Tackle
School: Duke University
Class: Senior
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 315 lbs.


In regard to stance, power, and nastiness, Barton is undoubtedly a first-round talent. He plays smart and has his head on a swivel when executing blocks in the second level. Barton does an excellent job using his hips to explode upward through his block, letting him not only strike the defensive linemen with a punch but also maintain leverage on him throughout. For the most part, when Barton has you in his grips, defenders have serious trouble getting off.


His technique is textbook, as Barton uses his arms as an extension of his body and derives all his power from his stance and hips. This allows him to anchor very well against the bull rush. His hand fighting is also strong as he uses his body to stay in front of defenders and can repel most pass-rush moves while utilizing his arms and hands. Given his awareness, fundamentals, and intelligence, Barton is an absolute mauler in the run game, which is his strongest trait.


While Barton is a stud in most regards, his lack of footspeed and overall athleticism are lacking when compared to most good NFL tackles. Given all his strengths, he may be able to hold his own as a tackle, yet this issue is a big enough concern to push Barton out of the first round. It is unclear how Barton would be able to handle NFL speed, and since pass rushers are faster and bendier, Barton may not be able to win on technique alone.

We should wait until the NFL Combine before writing off Barton as a first-round-caliber offensive lineman because he does show athletic glimpses. He has a very good handle on the reach block, which requires a good deal of athleticism. That being said, the ACC is not the biggest of challenges for left tackles. Even against Florida State, he barely faced off against top prospect Jared Verse.  Too many times when faced with speed, Barton reverted to having his arms and hands outside of the pass rusher’s frame, which can be a recipe for many holding calls in the NFL.

Pro Comparison: Marshal Yanda

Similarly to Barton, Yanda was drafted as a tackle after having an excellent career at Iowa playing tackle exclusively. After rotating between guard and tackle his first few seasons, Yanda became a full-time guard and proceeded to make six straight Pro Bowls, as well as eight of the next nine. Like Barton, Yanda lacked the overall athleticism to excel at tackle but was more than capable of holding his own. Unlike Barton, Yanda was also on the shorter side, both in terms of height and arm length.


Barton may not profile as a tackle, but he looks like a high-level guard at the very least. He is someone who can immediately impact your offensive line and has the potential to make numerous Pro Bowl appearances. That be worth a first-round pick, but even very good interior offensive linemen tend to fall to the second round.

Draft Projection: Second Round

Barton looks like a top-40 prospect. If this year featured a thinner tackle class, it’d be easy to envision someone taking him in the back end of the first round. However, because of this year’s talent at tackle, he will likely be selected early in the second, perhaps by a team that selected a quarterback in Round 1 and still needs to improve on the offensive line. While guards do not get selected very high in the draft, Yanda himself went in the second round, so adding a Pro Bowl-caliber technician should be valued significantly. Plus, if we were to redraft the 2007 draft, Yanda would probably go higher than all but a handful of players, assuredly making him a top-15 pick. 

Barton is hands down one of my favorite prospects in this draft because of how polished and NFL-ready he is. His technique is on par or better than most starting linemen today. However, the NFL has shown a preference toward athletic freaks over strong technicians with lower ceilings despite data showing that players with subpar technique have a higher bust rate. Additionally, position bias in the NFL is very real, yet it is still difficult to find perennial Pro Bowl guards. Barton may very well offer just that.

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