Entering the 2010 College football season, Walterfootball was the most optimistic about Barksdale:
"I don't understand why Barksdale isn't more well regarded as a 2011 NFL Draft prospect nationally. He has a very high upside and has the raw talent to be an elite left tackle in the NFL with the prototype technique to boot. He needs to prove he can man the blind side as a senior at LSU, I'm giving Barksdale a first-round grade to start the 2010 season and he's my No. 1 offensive tackle prospect for the 2011 NFL Draft." http://walterfootball.com/scoutingreport2011jbarksdale.php
While on the other end, Sporting News says: http://warroom.sportingnews.com/nfl/draft/2011/players/9970.html
He fails to block to his talent level because of poor technique. Doesn't always get to the corner to cut off edge rusher in time. Gets beaten by pass-rush moves too easily. Shows poor hand usage in pass protection, keeping them too low and often misses the block. Barksdale lacks aggressiveness in his play, and that's one thing NFL coaches can't teach. Players like him rarely develop beyond backups and don't stick long in the league despite their talent.
The top defensive tackle prospect in the Midwest who is a consensus five-star recruit by every recruiting publication (Parade All-America Team) Barksdale was asked to switch over to the offensive side of the ball prior to his freshman season at LSU. He obliged, and the move has paid off for both Barksdale and the Tigers. He played in all 14 games as a freshman in 2007, backing up right tackle Carnell Stewart. Barksdale started all 13 games at RT in 2008, and he started all 12 regular-season contests (at RT) in his current junior campaign.
05/05/10 - Senior offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale’s 2010 season will be critical to his draft status. Barksdale moved from right tackle to left tackle for the 2010 season, to replace departed 4 year starting LT Ciron Black. “He’s always wanted to play left tackle, and now he has his chance, “He’ll be playing against the best speed pass rushers week in and week out outside the NFL in the SEC. We’ll see how he handles it. If he does well, he could be an early- to mid-round pick.” http://www.nfldraftbible.com/Players/List/2011-Big-Board/Joseph-Barksdale.html
www.draftinsider.net says this:
Along LSU’s offensive line, left tackle Joseph Barksdale has garnered some praise after flipping from the strong side replacing the stalwart Ciron Black upon graduation. After initial review Barksdale appeared impressive. Closer inspection revealed the tackle is a better fit back at right tackle looking at his prospects for the next level. Barksdale’s initial kick step is deep, gains width, and displays solid knee bend. His subsequent steps are not as technically sound. Barksdale shows a tendency to rise in his stance from said point and shorten his base. He may get off the ball well, but simply does not appear to have the mirroring or recovery ability essential to the left tackle position. Barksdale lacks footwork sliding out to protect the edge and is on the ground way too much
then updates (from Shrine Game practice):
Really another solid day and comes out of the past two days as a big winner. Just did a terrific job all afternoon in pass protection. Fundamentally sound, uses his hands extremely well and very strong. Improved his draft stock significantly.
Big, strong lineman who engulfs opponents at the point of attack. Gets movement run blocking and plays with good fundamentals. Turned in an improved senior season.
Read more Positives and Negatives here: http://www.sidelinescouting.com/rankings/ot/joseph-barksdale.shtml
Summary: (National Football Post):
Possesses good overall size for the position, and an above-average athlete who exhibits a good first step off the football in the run game and has the ability to quickly get around defenders and seal. Looks pretty athletic at the second level, can reach linebackers off his frame and initially push them past the play.
However, lacks ideal awareness, doesn't seem to really understand angles, isn't real clean when asked to redirect and needs to be a more effective puncher. Has some raw talent with some upside, but I don't know if he will ever put it all together.