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3 reasons the Bills should draft: Alabama State TE Brandon Barnes

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BrandonBarnes

Alabama State tight end Brandon Barnes has caught the attention of NFL teams. (Photo courtesy Alabama State athletics)

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Position: Tight end.

School: Alabama State.

Measurables: 6-foot-4, 255 pounds.

Combine stats: DNP. Pro Day: 40-yard dash: 4.69 seconds. Bench press: 20 reps. Vertical jump: 35.5 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 6 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.01 seconds.

Career stats: 38 games, 29 catches, 436 yards, six touchdowns.

Draft projection: Sixth-seventh round.

Reasons:

1 He's a classic "diamond in the rough." Playing in the Southwestern Athletic Conference doesn't generally bring a ton of attention, but scouts will find talented players anywhere. Barnes has the size teams are looking for at his position, and also lined up in several different spots offensively for the Hornets. That, along with his ability to play special teams, gives him the versatility NFL teams are looking for.

 2. He's put himself on the radar. Although Barnes wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, 17 teams were present at his Pro Day on March 10, which Alabama State conducted with Tuskegee. Tony Pauline, the publisher of draftanalyst.com, reported earlier this month that the Bills have a "high interest" in Barnes, and plan to host a workout with him.

3. He models his game after Greg Olsen. In an interview with the website nfldraftdiamonds.com, Barnes names the Carolina Panthers' tight end when asked if he models his game after an active player. Olsen is a three-time Pro Bowler who is entering his 11th season. Given that new Bills coach Sean McDermott came from Carolina, that's a good comparison for Barnes to make.

Fun fact: The Southwestern Athletic Conference has a rich history of producing not just NFL players, but all-time greats. Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams and Jerry Rice are the three most recent SWAC products to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

They said it: "I’m told he looked terrific during pass-catching drills and with his hand size looked as though he was plucking baseballs from the air. I would expect Barnes’ schedule to quickly fill up with official visits, and he’s moved into the last day of the draft." – Pauline, reacting to Barnes' Pro Day.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 27. Up next: Villanova OT Brad Seaton.

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