Former Tennessee Vols DE Derek Barnett already looks like a superstar with Eagles

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 17: Derek Barnett /

Former Tennessee Volunteers defensive end Derek Barnett is making an early impact on the Philadelphia Eagles in NFL preseason.

Related Story: 5 reasons Eagles are a perfect fit for Derek Barnett

After breaking Reggie White’s Tennessee football career sacks record in just three years, it was only fitting that Derek Barnett would go to the Eagles in the NFL Draft. Barnett was a mid-first rounder, living beneath all the hype of Myles Garrett.

It’s still just early in the preseason, but Barnett has already made a name for himself.

The driven defensive end is thriving in Jim Schwartz’s defensive system so far. In two preseason games, he’s got three sacks.

It’s gotten to the point that the coaches are ready to try him out with the first team, according to Jeff Kerr of 247Sports.

To Vols fans, Barnett’s play is nothing special. The guy lived for the big moments, in fact almost exclusively saving his sacks for them.

Now it may just be preseason right now, but with something to prove, these games are big moments for Barnett. And he’s not letting anybody down.

Here’s a look at his third sack of the preseason, this one against the New York Giants.

The sack followed two he had in their first preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Here’s a look at his first sack.

Notice something similar about those sacks. They came from timing the snap count, identifying the right gap and getting leverage.

Of course, against both of these teams, he didn’t have to face their starting quarterbacks. And Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers are masters of the snap count.

But this is still a taste of why Barnett is so good.

The 6’3″ 265-pound rookie may not have the physical gifts that Myles Garrett had. But he’s got the skills and the intelligence.

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And by playing in Philadelphia, he’s playing with a solid supporting cast and great coaches. That’s enough for him to already look like a star. Also, it has given him a shot with the first team. Derek Barnett could definitely explode onto the NFL scene as a rookie at this point.