Titans undrafted Barnes has a chip on his shoulder

By Anna Glenn Grove

With a stellar final season at Kansas State and a good showing at the NFL Combine, it was a surprise to many when Alex Barnes was left waiting for a team to call home at the end of the 2019 NFL Draft. Two of his teammates, Dalton Risner and Duke Shelley, from Kansas State were picked up in the draft in rounds two and six, respectively.

Barnes declared for the draft a year early and finished his final season at Kansas State playing all 12 games with 1,355 total rush yards and 12 touchdowns. In the combine, Barnes had an impressive showing being named a “diamond in the rough” with a vertical jump of 38.5 inches. His 40-yard dash was the only real point of concern sitting at a time of 4.59. Barnes tied for fourth in bench press reps with 34. He was rated as the strongest of all running backs in the draft following the combine.

Barnes has now landed in Nashville as an undrafted free agent and will get the chance to prove himself and potentially earn a spot on the Titans roster. Barnes actually interviewed with the Tennessee Titans at the combine and was invited to private dinners and meetings with the team.

At practice, Barnes said at this point all his eggs are in one basket, his goal is to make it onto this Nashville team. He has been gaining some reps and touches at OTAs mainly working with Logan Woodside and the other running backs. He was also practicing some with special teams.

This is a guy to keep on your radar to challenge the roster for a running back spot. This could potentially put him third behind both Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry. Some of the draws towards Barnes are that he is young and would not be as expensive as a more experienced player.

As a running back, Barnes can fit into many different roles. Kansas State didn’t focus their offense around him yet he was still an explosive presence. This earned him the Big 12 Rushing Title in his final season there. Barnes argues that backs do not always have to be niche and he is an example of this. Barnes has a strong ability to block for quarterback runs which could be a nice compliment to Marcus Mariota.

For a boy who grew up in Pittsburgh, Kansas, attending Titans practices were not actually his first time in Music City. In 2017 and entering his second starting season, Barnes and the Kansas State Wildcats traveled to Nashville for a game against Vanderbilt. During that game in September, Barnes had eight carries for 34 yards.

Barnes will compete hard and could be a nice addition to this Tennessee team. His work ethic comes from his grandfather and military veteran who played a father-figure role in Barnes’ life. He will most likely end up playing special teams especially when Henry needs a break.

“Being undrafted is definitely something that was a bit of a surprise but it’s my reality now so I’m working with it as best as I can,” Barnes said. “I am coming and grinding each and every day trying to show myself and prove myself to these coaches that I do belong.”

Blogs

Observations from Weekend Practices

By Christian Kaposy It was a hot weekend at Saint Thomas Sports Park and the Titans held two practices open to fans. Here are three observations from each day of practice: Saturday, August 10th Roster Shuffle Before Practice Following Thursday’s preseason opener in Philadelphia, General Manager Jon Robinson made some changes to the roster heading…

Five Observations From Preseason Opener in Philadelphia

Five Observations From Preseason Opener in Philadelphia

  By Christian Kaposy The Titans started their 2019 preseason on a high note, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10. With many starters playing around or less than ten snaps, the second and third team members played from the second quarter on, giving the coaches a good opportunity to evaluate the young guys. Here are five…

Three Players to Watch During Tonight’s Preseason Opener

Three Players to Watch During Tonight’s Preseason Opener

By Christian Kaposy After ten training camp practices, the Titans hit the road and travel to Philadelphia to open up the preseason. With starters on both sides of the ball most likely taking just a handful of snaps, tonight will be a great opportunity for younger players to showcase their talent. Here are three players…

Training Camp Day 9 and 10: Takeaways

By Christian Kaposy and Anna Glenn Grove   Monday, August 5th Attendance Following the scrimmage at Nissan Stadium, Derrick Henry and Nate Davis were still missing from practice. Along with them, D’Andre Walker was absent as well for his first time this training camp, the reason for this is unknown. Frank Herron did not practice…