STRENGTHS - Barrington has ideal upper and lower body thickness for an ILB. He uses his size and strength to take on and shed blockers effectively inside, and does a solid job of holding his ground even when blockers beat him to the POA. His ability to quickly read and react to his run keys allows him to make plays outside the tackle box his athletic limitations should otherwise prevent him from getting to. He is quick to diagnose assignments in zone coverage and is physical with receivers through his area.
WEAKNESSES - Barrington is a limited athlete that struggles to play in space. He does not have the speed to stay with TEs in man coverage, and in transition shows limited change of direction ability and cannot accelerate effectively to close once beaten off the break. His poor speed and explosion also limits his effectiveness on outside run plays, thus he will likely be limited to playing ILB for a 30 front at the next level.
SUMMARY - It would be easy to discount Sam Barrington as a pro prospect because of his athletic limitations, but his size, strength and instincts against the run should result in him finding a role at the next level. His lack of speed, agility, change of direction and closing burst are blindingly apparent in man coverage, as he struggles to stay with TEs in space and consistently loses ground in transition. However, his build is perfect for the "thumper" role in 34 defenses, as he has the strength to take on and shed blockers inside that many of today's smaller, more athletic LBs do not possess. As a rookie he will likely need to play on special teams in order to make an active roster, but he should enjoy a solid career as a two-down run defender.