Trae Barry entered the spring FCS season as a potential NFL Draft prospect out of Jacksonville State. Rather than head to the NFL, the talented tight end transferred to a blossoming Power Five program in Boston College. Having made waves at the FCS level, Barry is making noise and creating interest early in his college career finale on Chestnut Hill. The tight end earned a draftable grade from Pro Football Network’s Senior Draft Analyst Tony Pauline in the spring, and his scouting report reveals why.
Trae Barry NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Tight End
- School: Boston College
- Current Year: Super Senior
- Height: 6’6″
- Weight: 244 pounds
Trae Barry Scouting Report
Starting Barry’s scouting report anywhere other than his remarkable size would be remiss. At 6’6″, he’s a different beast from his receiver contemporaries at the line of scrimmage. His size created a matchup nightmare for opposition defenses at the FCS level, and there’s every reason to believe it will do so in the FBS this season.
It’s no good being tall if you can’t use your size advantage due to skill or athletic limitations. Thankfully for Barry, he’s already shown that he’s an impressive athlete for his size. He moves much quicker than you’d expect and certainly exceeds the expectations created by his high school testing metrics.
Barry moves well in the open field and has demonstrated the ability to create separation with route running. At the FCS level, he was practically unstoppable down the seam. The hurdle on his touchdown run against Colgate is further evidence of his deceptive athleticism.
Barry has an exemplary skill set as a pass catcher. The Boston College tight end can track the ball in the air, adjust his body with exceptional control, and pluck the ball out of the air with reliable hands. He exhibits excellent concentration, with very few examples of drops on his tape.
As a blocker, Barry demonstrates an understanding of using angles to create running lanes. He can square off opponents and corral them away from the ball carrier.
Areas for improvement
While Barry possesses deceptive athletic ability, his athletic profile does pose some problems for his 2022 NFL Draft stock. While he can move well in the open field with some surprising speed for his size, the Boston College product lacks explosiveness at the line of scrimmage.
His speed is a slow build as he rumbles down the field, and he won’t defeat press coverage with speed releases. As a result, he might be considered limited to a seam-threat role in the NFL.
While he demonstrates willingness and intelligence from a blocking perspective, Barry looks lean on his FCS tape. In his scouting report for the 2021 NFL Draft, Pauline remarked that Barry “needs to get a little bigger.”
While Boston College lists Barry at 244 pounds, an increase of 9 pounds versus his spring weight, it remains to be seen whether he can become more physical as a blocker. It appeared that way through the first two games of the season. However, it’s worth remembering that Colgate and UMass — with all due respect — are not the quality of competition that will genuinely help elevate Barry’s standing in this 2022 NFL Draft class.
Trae Barry Player Profile
Barry’s ascension to an NFL Draft tight end prospect playing in the ACC for Boston College is in stark contrast to this humble beginnings at Spanish Fort High School. Yet, for anyone who knew the 6’6″ mountain back then, his success will hardly have come as a surprise.
The epitome of a multi-sport standout, Barry was a successful discus and javelin thrower in high school. Meanwhile, his incredible height helped give him a natural advantage on the basketball court. By taking his athletic ability and physical gifts from the hardwood to the gridiron, Barry contributed to the Spanish Fort football team in multiple ways.
During his senior season, Barry saw time at quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end. The underrated utility man earned All-State honors as the school went 10-3 and embarked on a playoff run.
It might seem strange to label an All-State honoree as underrated. But Barry’s success on the field for Spanish Fort didn’t translate to his recruiting profile. Tabbed the 147th pro-style quarterback in the class, some recruiting sites also described him as a receiver. The uncertainty and ambiguity ensured he received no FBS offers and only a handful of small-school opportunities.
Barry’s career at Jacksonville State
Mere months after arriving at Jacksonville State, any ambiguity about his college position quickly dissipated. Barry made an immediate impact for the Gamecocks, starting 3 games while making 11 appearances at the tight end position. His game-changing ability was instantly apparent, with the first touchdown of his college career being an 80-yard score against Liberty. Barry later added a 65-yard touchdown against Southern Missouri.
Although 243 receiving yards may not sound incredible as a season total, they came on just 10 receptions, with 3 catches ending in trips to the end zone. Barry’s performance earned him second-team All-Ohio Valley honors and a place on the Hero Sports Freshman All-American team.
With an incredibly productive sophomore campaign, Barry elevated his conference recognition to first-team honors. Although a 44-yard score against Eastern Illinois was his only touchdown of the season, he tallied 503 yards on 32 receptions. The 2018 season saw him set career-high single-game receiving yards against Kennesaw State, although he smashed through that total with 151 yards and a touchdown in the 2019 season opener against Chattanooga.
The stage was set for an emphatic junior outing. Unfortunately, Barry suffered a season-ending knee injury against Austin Peay. With the disruption of the 2020 college football season, his college football career appeared to be heading for a premature ending.
Barry’s spring season earns him a transfer to Boston College
Thankfully for the standout tight end, Jacksonville State arranged a fall fixture with Florida State ahead of the FCS spring season. As the Gamecocks proved surprisingly stout opposition for the Seminoles, Barry reeled in 52 receiving yards.
The yardage gained in the summer contributed to a spring season total of 534 yards and a touchdown. While most NFL Draft prospects were preparing for the most significant moment of their lives, Barry was tearing apart FCS defenses as the Gamecocks reached the FCS Playoffs.
One of those prospects was Boston College tight end Hunter Long. With Long’s departure to the NFL, the Eagles swooped in for Barry when he entered the transfer portal rather than head to the NFL Draft himself.
Unsurprisingly, Barry has already inserted himself as an essential part of the offense. On his very first reception, the Boston College tight end showcased his athletic ability, hurdling a defender on his way to a 51-yard score. The following week, he snagged 5 receptions for 98 yards and the second touchdown of his young FBS career.
While it’s early in the season, Barry already appears to be stepping into the shoes vacated by Long. There will be tougher tests to come after two cupcake clashes, but the Boston College tight end has equipped himself well thus far. If he continues on his current form, an early Day 3 selection isn’t out of the question for the former FCS standout.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report on Trae Barry
Positives: Tall, somewhat athletic tight end who flashes dominance. Quick and fluid releasing off the line into pass routes, nicely adjusts to errant throws, and makes tough catches in the middle of the field. Gets vertical, high-points the ball over opponents, and displays good eye/hand coordination.
Terrific pass catcher who tracks the pass in the air, extends his hands, and possesses soft, strong hands. Displays excellent blocking vision, stays square, and fires off the snap into blocks. Very effective blocking in motion.
Negatives: Plays to one speed and isn’t as fast as his 40 time. Was not overly active in the Boston College offense last season after transferring from Jacksonville State.
Analysis: Early in his Jacksonville State career, I identified Barry as a next-level tight end. He missed a full season with a knee injury and seemingly returned to full strength in 2020 before transferring to Boston College. He’s a long tight end with growth potential as well as terrific pass-catching skills, and he could develop into the third man on the depth chart.