Alex Barron has had a trying preseason. The former first round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams is trying to make a starting role with the Oakland Raiders in place of the currently injured Jared Veldheer and has not exactly endeared himself to Raider Nation.
Fact: Alex Barron is trying to get back into the NFL after being out of the league.
Fact: Alex Barron’s poor blocking at left tackle nearly got Matt Flynn killed on multiple occasions on Friday night in New Orleans.
Now the former General Manager of the St. Louis Rams, the one that was forced to deal with Barron after he was selected by a previous regime, has came out and questioned Barron’s heart and desire to play football according to ProFootballTalk.
In 2010, former Rams General Manager Billy Devaney traded away Barron. Devaney didn’t think much of Barron’s potential as an NFL offensive lineman then and he thinks even less of Barron now that he is trying to make a comeback with the Raiders.
PFT reported that while discussing Barron on ESPN, Devaney called out the player he famously shipped out of town after taking over the reigns in St. Louis.
“He’s got the skill to play. He does not have the heart to play football. He does not like anything about the game except getting paid,” Devaney said of Barron.
Barron has never materialized into what NFL scouts thought he could be when he was drafted out of Florida State. One of the most penalized players in the NFL during his stay at St. Louis, Barron couldn’t get it together in Dallas before forgettable stays in New Orleans and Seattle before spending a year away from football after being cut. It is clear that Barron never lived up to the ceiling for a 19th pick in the NFL Draft and a consensus All-American has, and Devaney thinks it is because of his effort.
You can’t blame Devaney for ripping Barron as the former GM has an axe to grind when it comes to his former bust he inherited at left tackle when he took over at St. Louis, but it has hard to define if a player just likes football for a paycheck. It is easy to call out a guy who never could get his discipline right or avoid false starts and say he mailed it in for a paycheck, so of course Barron’s love for football is going to come into question after a poor performance when getting a starting opportunity after a year away from football.
It is entirely possible that Barron becoming a bust could be the work of some poor talent evaluation and that he was never meant to be a first round draft selection. That isn’t going to stop pundits and TV analysts from calling him out as Barron has to face the music of his failure to live up to the potential of being a consensus All-American and a first round NFL draft pick, maybe Devaney is right, but only Alex Barron knows that or not. As long as his performance remains subpar and he shows no passion, those whispers will continue.