Watching Connor Barwin during UC's historic BCS run in 2008, you got the feeling that he could be a draft pick by the third round. Then, as time passed, you got the feeling that he could be a Saturday draft pick. Now, you almost certainly know he'll be drafted on Saturday, and possibly in the first round.
His reported 4.47 40-time during UC's Pro Day, which is amazing considering the tall (6'4") 256-pound frame, was faster than Pat White, and all but participating three running backs during the NFL Combine. So far, Barwin has worked out for the Patriots, Seahawks, Dolphins and Broncos and visited Buffalo, with planned visits in Tennessee and Kansas City. He's also scheduled to visit the Jaguars, Rams and the Atlanta Falcons having expressed interest.
On April 14, Barwin will return to Cincinnati to workout with the Bengals with other local players. While we don't project him to be drafted by the Bengals in the first round, if he's available by the second round, there's a good shot that Cincinnati takes him. With his local ties, Barwin represents an outside linebacker/defensive end tweener (not to be confused with Twitter) that the Bengals have sought; which includes project-type experiments with Eric Henderson and Rashad Jeanty. After this season, Jeanty and Brandon Johnson will be unrestricted free agents, so drafting Barwin could set the foundation for beyond 2010 at WILL and SAM linebacker.