Amaré Barno, Virginia Tech DE | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Does Virginia Tech DE and JUCO product Amaré Barno have the skills to be an early-round 2022 NFL Draft pick with his scouting report?

We can rank prospects one by one on a level playing field. But as valuable as those big boards and positional rankings can be, they aren’t always an accurate depiction of how NFL teams grade prospects. For NFL teams specifically, scheme fit and preferences take on a heightened weight. That’s especially true for the scouting reports of versatile NFL Draft prospects like Virginia Tech DE Amaré Barno.

Amaré Barno NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Edge Rusher
  • School: Virginia Tech
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height: 6’4 1/4″
  • Weight: 239 pounds
  • Wingspan: 81 1/8″
  • Length: 33 3/4″
  • Hand: 9 1/8″

Amaré Barno Scouting Report

Barno broke out in 2020 as a productive defender at the collegiate level. There was early-round hype at one point, but that seems to have faded. A deep edge class is partly to blame. The sheer names above him have buried Barno, but he’s still an important part of the group.

Barno is a unique prospect, of course, in the sense that he may appeal to some schemes over others. He’s a versatile prospect with an intriguing physical profile, but what are his strengths, and how does he project? Here’s a closer look at Barno’s scouting report.

Barno’s athletic profile

Standing at around 6’4″, 239 pounds, Barno is a tall, high-hipped player with a long frame. He measured in with near-34-inch arms at the Senior Bowl, showing that length as an asset on tape.

With his length, Barno can convert speed to power and surge into his opponent’s torso. He has great explosiveness and combines it well with his wingspan. When he extends and converts speed to power, Barno shows glimpses of steady leg drive. The Virginia Tech DE can generate surprisingly powerful leg drive with his long legs, and his wingspan envelopes players in the box.

Going further, Barno has the lateral agility to stunt at different angles and exploit creases in the trenches. He can also sidestep chip blocks and maintain acceleration out of his stance. He has a quick first step, and he can get upfield in an instant and invade the pocket with his long strides.

Barno also flashes good ankle flexion around the edge. He can stab a blocker’s torso with a long-arm, then dip through the corner. The Virginia Tech DE can reduce his surface area and get low to the ground as he gains speed.

Execution beyond the physical traits

The main selling point with Barno is his physical profile, but there are some operational strengths to make note of. The Virginia Tech DE’s athleticism affords him some versatility. He’s explosive and rangy in space, and he can close ground quickly and suddenly with his long strides. Barno has easy athleticism in coverage, too. He can drop back and shade running backs and tight ends if needed.

In the trenches, Barno has bright flashes as well. He shows glimpses of fast hands and good torso flexibility. He can absorb modest amounts of power and establish a half-man relationship while setting the edge in run defense. When he gets low enough, Barno can knife inside with his initial burst and drive. He’s also shown he can flow to the ball in space, lower his shoulder, and square up runners.

Areas for improvement

Barno plays too upright at times with his tall, leggy frame, and his pad level can be an issue. He runs upright and can’t always corner efficiently in space. To that end, Barno’s hands can be placed too high at times. He doesn’t always grip the torso and attain superior leverage.

Going further, Barno’s hands don’t always strike cleanly. He also isn’t very precise or calculated as a rusher and lacks a plan coming downhill at times. His hands aren’t forceful or violent, and he doesn’t consistently load up.

Barno isn’t consistent multitasking around the edge as a pass rusher. His hands can be snatched and negated, and he can have better synergy with his extensions at times. The Virginia Tech DE sometimes shoots his hands before his base is set, and he can lose his balance as a result. Moreover, Barno sometimes overshoots angles in run defense and exposes himself to blocks.

Expanding on Barno’s run defense, the Virginia Tech DE doesn’t have the strength to consistently break anchors when he’s locked up, nor does he consistently disengage in a timely manner. Barno doesn’t always read-option plays effectively and can wash himself out of plays by being over-aggressive. He can get lost in congestion and isn’t overly disruptive.

Barno’s 2022 NFL Draft scouting report overview

Barno has generated intrigue with his production in the past. He’s clearly a great athlete with a long frame and impressive range. With his burst and long strides, he can get upfield quickly, and he also has some ankle flexion, which he can use to shrink underneath the corner.

However, while Barno offers great potential with his speed-to-power, he doesn’t offer much else at the moment. Barno has the agility to conduct spins and stunts, but he doesn’t supplement his athleticism with his hands. He can give up too much surface area, and he doesn’t consistently lower his pads or shoot into contact. And when he gets locked up, Barno doesn’t have the strength or the technical ability to disengage.

Barno appeared more natural and dynamic at times from a 4-point stance in 2020. However, he has the physical profile of a stand-up rusher who should be out in space more. Thus, Barno’s projection is somewhat complicated. The silver lining is that Barno moves very easily in space. Perhaps his physical potential could be maximized in a hybrid 3-4 OLB role. And if he can fix his stance or play in 4-point stances more often, that could help him shoot his hands more often and lower his pads into contact.

Barno didn’t have a great Senior Bowl week, but he at least put together some solid reps on Day 3. For teams that crave versatility and range in the box, Barno has intriguing upside. His testing will sell teams on that upside, but he has the tape and profile of a Day 3 pick. Still, he can exceed his draft billing if he can refine his skill set and be used in the right role.

Barno’s Player Profile

Some roads are indirect, but talented prospects always earn their opportunities eventually. That was the case for Barno. He originally started at Westwood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina. At the time, Barno was already a lanky player, but he was more of a linebacker-safety hybrid. Receiving little interest out of high school, he chose to attend Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. There, he fleshed out his role as a linebacker.

Barno thrived at Butler Community College. The Virginia Tech DE logged 66 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks in his 2018 campaign. He also added 2 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles over the course of his JUCO career. Barno soon recaptured interest on the recruiting stage. One of the top JUCO prospects in 2019, Barno fielded offers from Nebraska, Marshall, and UTEP. But for the east coast product, the Hokies made the most sense.

Barno’s career at Virginia Tech

At Virginia Tech, Barno quickly added weight and transitioned to a more permanent role on the edge. Still acclimating in 2019, he only played three games and ended up redshirting. He returned in 2020 and took on an increased role on defense. In 11 games and six starts, the Virginia Tech DE amassed 43 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 2 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. Barno earned honorable mention recognition in the ACC as a result, and expectations were high in 2021.

Unfortunately for Barno, 2021 wasn’t nearly as productive. The Virginia Tech DE started all 11 games but only put up 35 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, a pass deflection, and a forced fumble. Nevertheless, he did do enough to earn a Senior Bowl invite.

Barno’s NFL Draft ascension

Offseason testing will be big for Barno, whose chief defining trait is athleticism. As of now, there still hasn’t been enough technical refinement over two years of starting reps at the FBS level. But Barno is clearly an intriguing athlete, with an uncommon combination of burst and length.

Barno lacks strength and density, but he could earn looks as a versatile pass rusher if he can emphasize his athleticism with strong NFL Combine numbers. He still has a long way to go before he reaches his ceiling, but his potential may be enough for teams to invest in. How he’s used in the NFL will also dictate his outcome. If teams use him more in space and allow him to rush from more comfortable stances, he could go on to thrive.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Amaré Barno

Positives: Super-athletic pass rusher who is effective making plays in space. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself, and works hard to make plays against the run. Shows the ability to rush the passer out of a three-point stance and standing over tackle, bends off the edge, and possesses a burst of closing speed. Plays with great balance and body control and rarely gets knocked off his feet. Fires off the snap with a terrific first step, plays with excellent pad level, and easily changes direction to make plays in space. Fluid moving about the field and very explosive.

Negatives: Lacks bulk and strength at the point and consistently gets taken from the action by a single blocker. Turned in a slightly disappointing senior campaign.

Analysis: Barno was an unstoppable force who consistently drew double-teams. Indeed, he made a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage and impacted the game. He’s an athletic prospect with excellent length as well as growth potential and will only get better as he physically matures and adds more strength to his game.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @IC_Draft.

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