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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Dominique Barber, FS

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 210 | College: Minnesota
 
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Overview

The Barber family has had a long and stellar football history at Minnesota. Dominique Barber's father, Marion Barber Jr., and brother, Marion Barber III (now with the Dallas Cowboys), both starred as running backs for the Gophers.

And after limited playing time during his first two years at the university, Dominique Barber continued to uphold the family tradition, leading the team in tackles (100) in his final season.

Minnesota generally redshirts incoming freshmen, but like his father and brother before him, Barber was on the field as a true freshman. He began his Gophers' career as a strong safety, moving to free safety as a sophomore and junior. His career came full circle as a senior, shifting back to free safety, where he became the third member of his family to attain All-Big Ten Conference status.

Barber was rated as the 42nd-best player at his position in 2003 by Rivals and selected for the Super Prep Midwest Team, which ranked him as the nation's 58th-best player during his senior year at Wayzata High School. He was a Prep Star All-Midwest Region choice and named All-State and All-County his senior season at defensive back. He was an All-Area and All-Conference selection his senior season at running back.

In his final campaign, Barber had one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. He rushed for 911 yards on 138 carries with nine scores, while also recording 25 catches for 288 yards and three touchdowns. He also lettered twice in hockey and once in baseball.

Barber was one of only three true freshmen to letter at Minnesota in 2003. He played in nine games, making four tackles (two solo) while breaking up a pass. He shifted to free safety as a sophomore, appearing in 12 games. He collected 13 tackles (10 solos) and blocked the first of three kicks during his career.

In 2006, Barber moved into the starting lineup at free safety, earning All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention. He blocked two kicks on special teams, picked off four passes and deflected four others. He finished fifth on the squad with 74 tackles (47 solos), as he recovered one fumble and caused two others.

As a senior, Barber's shift to strong safety saw him lead the team with 100 tackles (71 solo), picking up second-team All-Big Ten Conference honors in the process. He had one sack, 5.5 stops for losses and a forced fumble. He recovered three fumbles, advancing two for 53 yards and a touchdown, as he also broke up eight passes.

Analysis

Positives … Has a well-built frame with broad shoulders, good upper-body muscle tone, especially in the chest and arms, tight waist, good bubble and tapered thighs and calves … Showed marked improvement hustling to the ball as a senior, as he had stretches where he would throttle down and disappear in games earlier in his career … Hard worker in the weight room, but did not show that same work ethic in the classroom … Finally advanced into the mode of watching game tape to prepare for his upcoming opponent, something he did not do his first few years in the program … Has adequate quickness coming out of his backpedal, but is more active and aggressive in run force … Has enough quickness to mirror short-area receivers, showing good explosion coming out of his breaks … Has developed a decent feel for the zone and is aware of the direction of the ball in flight … Has the functional closing burst needed to shrink the gap on the receivers in deep routes … Gets out of his backpedal sharply and is effective on switching off in the zone … Lacks fluid hip swerve and flexibility when turning, but somehow manages to put his body in front of the receiver to prevent the pass … Extends well for the ball in traffic … Fills the hole with force in run support … Has adequate pop when going low to make the wrap-up tackle … As a senior, he did a better job of reading backfield activity, doing a good job of reading the quarterback to get a jump on the ball … Times leaps well and his added bulk as a senior allowed him to win a fair share of jump-ball battles vs. bigger receivers … Uses his hands well to fend off blockers when closing on outside run plays … Gets his head turned to track the ball in flight, and is especially solid when trying to get a jump on screens … Needs a free lane when attacking the backfield on the blitz, but has developed a good feel for taking angles … Added to his resume on special teams, using his elevation well to block a few punts the last two years … More of a downhill player than one who will excel in the deep zone, but has the upper-body strength to make impact hits in space … Stays low in his pads to flow down the line and string out plays … Has enough strength to come up an play nickel linebacker in Cover-2 schemes.

Negatives: Lacks the second gear and timed speed to handle receivers one-on-one on deep routes … Earlier in his career, his motor and work ethic ran hot and cold, but as he matured, he bought into the program, doing the little extras to get better … Has adequate change-of-direction agility and a marginal burst when attempting to recover when a receiver gets behind him … Struggles in the classroom, more out of laziness, but his low Wonderlic score is of concern … Better reacting to plays in front of him, but is slow to read hats and needs to be more alert to double moves … Has good strength, but ballcarriers can break his tackles when he takes a side rather than positioning to wrap and secure … Tends to get a little sloppy tackling in the open field, preferring to do most of his hitting in closed quarters … Sometimes allows too much cushion for receivers on deep routes and then lacks that sudden burst to get back to his man without overextending and lunging … Seems lost while trying to recover after the receiver gets by him … Takes poor angles in pursuit, taking himself out of the play as he will then get overaggressive to compensate (best when he angles and has a clear lane to pursue) … While possessing adequate quickness, he seems to lack that explosive initial step and top-end speed needed to handle assignments in the deep zone … More aggressive in run force, but must keep his hands active to prevent big blockers from getting into his chest … Gets too high in his stance, taking extra steps in transition … Will gather some when having to change direction, lacking suddenness … Despite four INTs as a senior, he lacks natural hands and ball skills, tending to trap the ball more often than extending for it.

Compares To: REED DOUGHTY-Washington … Barber played with alertness and urgency as a senior, so it might be a case of maturing later than expected. He is still a better defender when a play is in front of him than in man coverage and does not have great read-and-react skills. He has adequate playing speed and a marginal burst to recover, but does a good job of handling short-area receivers. His play on special teams will get him his roster spot, but he needs to continue to mature and display a solid work ethic, as he's cut quite a few corners in the past and needs to shed the "lazy" label.

Career Notes

Started 24 of 46 games he played in at Minnesota; 12 each at free and strong safety … Recorded 191 tackles (130 solos) with a thre-yard sack and 6.5 stops for losses of 21 yards … Caused three fumbles and recovered four others, returning two for a total of 53 yards and a touchdown … Deflected 13 passes and intercepted four others for 57 yards in returns, including a score … Blocked three kicks, returning a blocked punt 12 yards and also covered an onside kickoff.

2007 Season

All-Big Ten Conference second-team selection … Received the Bronko Nagurski Award as the Gophers' Most Valuable Player … Also earned the Carl Eller Award as the Gophers' Most Outstanding Defensive Player … Moved back to his freshman position, strong safety, as he led the Gophers with a career-high 100 tackles (71 solo), including a three-yard sack and 5.5 stops for losses of 19 yards … His 100 hits ranked ninth in the conference … Recovered three fumbles, returning two for 53 yards and a touchdown … Caused a fumble and broke up eight passes … Had at least 10 tackles in four contests.

2007 Game Analysis

Opened the season with six tackles (four solos) and a pass breakup vs. Bowling Green … Broke up a pass and registered eight solo tackles vs. Miami, Ohio … Made 13 stops (nine solos) and deflected a pass vs. Florida Atlantic … Forced a fumble, broke up a pass, and registered 12 tackles (9 solos) vs. Purdue … Tallied seven tackles (4 solos), including two for losses, vs. Ohio State … Registered a sack and five solo tackles vs. Indiana … Returned a fumble 7 yards, defended two passes, and tallied 11 tackles (7 solos) vs. Northwestern … Added 11 tackles (9 solos) vs. North Dakota State … Returned a fumble 46 yards for a touchdown and finished with six tackles (4 solos) vs. Michigan … Recorded six tackles (3 solos), including three for losses, vs. Illinois … Broke up one pass and made six tackles (2 solos) vs. Iowa … Finished the season with one pass breakup and nine tackles (7 solos) vs. Wisconsin.

2006 Season

All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention … Started at free safety, placing fifth on the team with 74 tackles (47 solos) while participating on 1,009 plays … Had a stop for a 2-yard loss, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles … Deflected four passes and blocked a pair of kicks … Returned four interceptions for 57 yards in returns with a touchdown, ranking tied for fifth in the conference with 0.31 interceptions per game.

2006 Game Analysis

Recorded six tackles (4 solos) vs. Kent State … Added four tackles (3 solos) vs. California … Returned an interception 12 yards and finished with three tackles (2 solos) vs. Temple … Broke up two passes and recorded seven tackles (6 solos) vs. Purdue, as he held the explosive Dorien Bryant to just 59 yards receiving on six catches … Made seven tackles (5 solos) vs. Michigan … Registered eight tackles (2 solos), including two behind the line of scrimmage, vs. Penn State … Finished with one pass breakup and seven tackles (2 solos) vs. Wisconsin … Added six tackles (4 solos) vs. North Dakota State … Blocked a PAT and tallied three tackles (2 solos) vs. Ohio State … Returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown, blocked a kick, forced a fumble, broke up a pass, and finished with three tackles (2 solos) vs. Indiana … Recorded two interceptions and six tackles (4 solos) vs. Michigan State, as one of his interceptions of MSU quarterback Brian Hoyer's pass in the end zone on the first play of the second quarter turned the momentum of the game … Forced a fumble and registered eight tackles (6 solos) vs. Iowa … Added six tackles (5 solos) vs. Texas Tech.

2005 Season

Played in all 12 games as a reserve free safety … Collected 13 tackles (10 solos), as he recovered an onside kickoff and blocked a punt that he recovered and advanced 12 yards … Played in 300 snaps.

2005 Game Analysis

Blocked first punt of his career vs. Colorado State, which resulted in a touchdown by Alex Daniels … Recorded two solo tackles vs. Florida Atlantic … Made four tackles (two solo) vs. Penn State, as he played a season-high 77 plays vs. the Nittany Lions after replacing an injured Brandon Owens early in the second quarter … Had a solo tackle vs. Ohio State and two tackles (one solo) vs. Michigan State … Followed with one solo tackle vs. Iowa and recorded three tackles, all solo, vs. Virginia in the Music City Bowl.

2004 Season

Played in nine games, recording four tackles (two solo) and one pass breakup … Joined Robert McGarry and Gary Russell as the only Gophers to letter as true freshmen … Also kept a family tradition by lettering as a true freshman, which his father, Marion Jr. (1977-80) and brother, Marion III (2001-04), also accomplished … Saw action on 104 plays.

2004 Game Analysis

Earned his first career tackle vs. Illinois and tallied his first career pass breakup at Indiana … Had two tackles vs. Iowa and posted one tackle vs. Alabama in the Music City Bowl.

Injury Report

No injuries reported.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.56 in the 40-yard dash … 1.54 10-yard dash … 2.62 20-yard dash … 36-inch vertical jump … 31 7/8-inch arm length … 8 7/8-inch hands … Right-handed … 12/26 Wonderlic score.

Combine: 4.68 in the 40-yard dash … 1.59 10-yard dash … 2.72 20-yard dash … 4.31 20-yard shuttle …

11.68 60-yard shuttle … 7.08 three-cone drill … 34-inch vertical jump … 9'9" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times.

High School

Attended Wayzata (Minn.) High School, playing football for head coach Brad Anderson … Rated as the 42nd-best player at his position in 2003 by Rivals and selected for the Super Prep Midwest Team, which ranked him as the nation's 58th-best player during his senior year … Prep Star All-Midwest Region choice and named All-State and All-County his senior season at defensive back … All-Area and All-Conference selection his senior season at running back … In his final campaign, Barber had one interception, which he returned for a touchdown … Rushed for 911 yards on 138 carries with nine scores, while also recording 25 catches for 288 yards and three touchdowns … Also lettered twice in hockey and once in baseball.

Personal

Communication Studies major … Son of Marion and Karen Barber … Father, Marion Jr., is a former NFL and All-Big Ten Conference running back for the Gophers … Brother, Marion III, played running back for the Gophers from 2001-04 and currently plays for the Dallas Cowboys after being selected in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft … Born 8/02/86 … Resides in Plymouth, Minnesota.

 
 

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