The 2014 NFL Draft is fast approaching, so I guess I better actually do something draft related. Today, we look into Vikings draft prospect Anthony Barr, an electrifying outside linebacker from UCLA. For reference, we’ll continue to bring you some hot sexy draft prospect news in the days leading up to the Vikings 2014 draft selections on May 8, 2014. We’ll be basing the priority of our previews on the draft priority board we created over the last month, which can be found here. Essentially it goes: linebackers, quarterback, cornerback, ALL THE DEFENSE, garbage bodies. Enjoy!
Anthony Barr is a real piece of work that I’ve had to watch over the last two years as a Nebraska fan. UCLA is a real crap football team. No one likes Los Angeles, the city, their teams, or those butt faced pirates that call themselves “sports” fans out there. What that has to do with Anthony Barr is undecided, although I know I do hate Jim Mora Jr., who has coached him for a while at UCLA. Who knows? Maybe the Vikings will draft him and that will convince Kevin Love to re-sign with the Timberwolves too, being UCLA-bros and all, right? A man can dream.
IS HE SHIRTLESS?
As far as my one minute research endeavor proved, no, not really, although he does like to flash his flashy arms. That’s only like a third of a point though, so I might have to drop his overall draft grade. FOR SHAME.
CBS SPORTS NOTES
But really, is Barr a good football player? Sure! Like all other top ranked prospects, he’s got good and bad things going on with him. Let’s turn once again to CBS Sports to do the heavy lifting for me. THE GOOD!
Perhaps most impressive qualities are Barr’s balance, lateral agility and acceleration, which he uses to break down in the open field as well as when exploding into ballcarriers for ferocious hits. Freakish combination of size and athleticism. Possesses long arms, extraordinary burst off the ball and explosive closing ability — a terrifying combination that gives him an immediate advantage over pass-blockers. Developing swim move to complement his speed, and possesses the strength and use of leverage to effectively bull-rush. Followed up breakout junior season with another standout campaign despite facing constant double-team attention. Causes holding penalties due to his athletic motor and power to rip through blocks.
He certainly seems dynamic enough to draw attention from opposing offensive blockers. His range would also help our rush defense, covering sideline to sideline while Linval Joseph clogs up the middle. EXCITE! So why won’t he probably be drafted number eight?
Still developing as a run defender. Will be tested in coverage if working as a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Raw as a two-year player on the defensive side of the ball in coverage, and will need to pick up NFL schemes quickly to be more than a situational pass rusher as a rookie.
Doesn’t it seem counter intuitive that a guy who is long, rangy, and explosive on ball carriers is a poor run defender too? NFL scouts are so weird.
So, Barr is technically considered one of the top 2-3 linebackers in this draft. He’s better suited for an outside position, would probably do better as Chad Greenway’s replacement, and we definitely need more help inside than outside at linebacker. But a good player is a good player, and the Vikings just need good players on defense. But is he the right pick for them in the first round? We’ve already looked at Khalil Mack and CJ Mosley. Mosley is probably the better fit, but is an overall ranked prospect outside the top ten. Mack probably won’t last until eight. So, in the case of Mosley or Barr, do you reach for a guy you may like relative to overall value? I’m a big proponent of the Best Player Available philosophy, so part of this just determines how the draft board falls. Maybe the Vikings can trade back a bit, get a couple of first round picks, and end up with BOTH Barr and Mosley! That would be so cool.
So? Do you like Anthony Barr?