Nevada's Hall of Fame head coach, Chris Ault, started calling his offensive line "The Union" 30 years ago in order to give the group a strong identity. The Union has produced just one draft pick during that time in tackle Tony Moll (long-time NFL lineman Derek Kennard -- whose son, Devon, is a senior defensive end at USC -- was undrafted after his career at UNR), but Barker is likely to double that total if he continues his strong play as a senior.
The California all-state pick as a high school senior sat out the 2008 season as a redshirt. He's started all 40 games at guard for the Wolf Pack since then, switching from the left to the right side several times each game depending on the play call. The high level of his play didn't escape WAC coaches in either the 2010 or 2011 seasons, as he was named second-team all-conference as a junior and made the first team the following year. Expect Mountain West Conference coaches to give him some sort of accolades after Nevada's first season in that league. In his senior year, Barker was named second-team All-Mountain West.
Athletic. Shows good bend getting into his three-point stance and can fire out to get into his opponent off the snap. His foot quickness allows him to flourish on zone plays, get blocking angles while engaged, as well as combo effectively to negate second-level targets even if they try to elude him. Moves behind the line well to pull and trap per the design of the play. Has a thick overall build. Experience on the left and right sides of the line is a nice bonus.
Does not necessarily dominate in terms of latching onto the numbers of better defenders to drive them backwards or turn them out of the hole in the run game. Lets up before the whistle blows at times, allowing his man to get back into the play.
Barker, the cousin of former USC and NFL defensive tackle Manuel Wright, isn't a dominant force, but displays the athleticism to block on the move yet strong enough to hold his ground against bull rushes. He should be a mid- to late-round selection.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.