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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Things to Know About Bucs First Round Pick Graham Barton 

Get to know the Bucs' 26th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft 


Nashville Native

Graham Barton grew up in Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville. A former Lacrosse player, Barton made football his sport of choice in high school. He played on the offensive and defensive lines as a four-year letterman and helped guide Ravenwood High School to a 13-2 record and the 2019 6A state championship game during his senior campaign. Barton garnered All-State honors as a senior for his contributions on the gridiron.

Public Policy Major

Barton was a public policy major at Duke and interned at the Raleigh office of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis during the summer of 2023. A public policy major is an interdisciplinary degree program that trains educators to develop and analyze solutions for societal problems in an attempt to influence lawmaking at the local, state and federal levels. Barton's mental fortitude outside of the football landscape made an impression on the Bucs' brass.

"That is a very important quality," said General Manager Jason Licht on Barton's intelligence. "That does not necessarily mean that you are going to be a great football mind but, in his case, he is."

2023 Accolades

In 2023 for the Blue Devils, Barton helped the offense accumulate 2,174 rushing and 2,351 passing yards as well as 26 rushing touchdowns, which was tied for the fifth-most in program history. He anchored an offensive line that ranked third in the ACC and tied for 24th nationally in sacks allowed per game (1.31). He tallied a team-high five knockdown blocks against No. 9 Clemson and four against No. 4 Florida State. Barton earned All-America honors in 2023 and first-team All-ACC recognition.

Enhancing Versatility

Barton earned freshman All-America honors at center in 2020 and went on to start 34 games at left tackle over the last three seasons of his collegiate tenure. His position flexibility became a draw for many teams during the pre-draft cycle and Barton spent the summer focusing on enhancing his craft. Over the previous two months, Barton prioritized snapping the ball to generate muscle memory.

"He has a tenacious playing style," described Licht. "He is a very good athlete. He is a very good technician. He played center his freshman year during the COVID year when there was an injury, and they threw him in there really without any practice during training camp and all that stuff at center, he went in there and played lights out we thought. They kicked him out to left tackle because he was the best athlete, which typically happens in college. He reminds a lot of us of Ali [Marpet]. He has some Ryan Jensen in him, which is a very good thing too, and he has the personality of Tristan Wirfs. He has some pretty good lab work there."


Barton is quick out of his stance and finishes through the whistle. He is an imposing run blocker, capable of redirecting with elite second-level skills. Barton is lethal on pulls and stays balanced and controlled. The Duke product's fiery demeanor is on display throughout his tape, notably when drive blocking. He elevated Duke's screen game and his sound technique and natural athleticism sparked interest from evaluators. Barton will help reinvigorate the Bucs' run game in 2024 as a climber and will solidify the offensive line with his ability to counter rush movements in pass protection.

"He plays with a great base; he plays with a good anchor, and he plays with a nasty temperament," smiled Licht. "That is all of the ingredients that we look for in our offensive line. He fits all the traits that we look for in a Buc."

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