When Elton John sings he’s still standing, it’s a confident refrain. For Missouri center Tim Barnes, he’s left to wonder why he’s still standing as an undrafted prospect after a full seven rounds of the NFL Draft came and went with nary a selection.
For those who’ve been paying attention, it comes as a shock to them as well. After all, Barnes grades well in size (604, 300) and ability. He has three years of starting experience at a high-caliber program at Missouri, and was highly regarded by draft experts. Wes Bunting of the National Football Post had him ranked No. 3 overall among centers, just after Mike Pouncey and Stefen Wisniewski.
Dave Matter, sportswriter for the Columbia Daily Tribune discusses Barnes’ case in great detail and the full article is worth a read. For our purposes, he writes:
Barnes texted me Sunday night and said the Baltimore Ravens contacted him immediately after the draft. Once teams are allowed to negotiate with prospects, the Ravens could sign Barnes to a free-agent deal or invite him to a tryout. Veteran Pro-Bowl center Matt Birk is in the final year of his contract and might retire after one more season. The Ravens didn’t address the interior of their line in the draft, so perhaps they can sign Barnes and develop him as an eventual replacement for Birk. The Dolphins and Bengals contacted him, too.
For players like Barnes or Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, life in the NFL is still possible once free agents can be signed. But this last weekend is certainly cause for a chip on a shoulder and questions why things didn’t turn out as they hoped.
For continued news on Barnes and Mizzou football, check out a great site at Rock M Nation.