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Anthony Barr | Linebacker

Team: UCLA Bruins
Age / DOB:  (26) / 3/18/1992
Ht / Wt:  6'4" / 235

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Vikings selected UCLA DE Anthony Barr with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Barr (6-foot-4 7/8, 255) played tailback and "pistol f-back" his first two years at UCLA, before Jim Mora converted him to 3-4 outside linebacker. He responded with back-to-back All-American seasons on the strength of 23.5 sacks, 41.5 TFLs, and nine forced fumbles. Despite an ideal blend of length (33 1/2" arms), production, and straight-line speed (4.66), Barr lacks flexibility and physicality. He was also commonly washed out in run defense. Barr is a talented, 22-year-old work in progress with boom-or-bust potential. NFL Films' Greg Cosell has compared him to Barkevious Mingo, though skeptics believe Barr could flop like Aaron Maybin. In Minnesota, he'll supplement Mike Zimmer's nickel package as the No. 3 rush end behind Brian Robison and Everson Griffen. Thu, May 8, 2014 09:12:00 PM

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Three out of seven polled draft analysts prefer UCLA's Anthony Barr to Buffalo's Khalil Mack.

Charles Davis, Bucky Brooks and Bryan Fischer all side with Barr. The disparity of opinion amongst the panel was significant. Here's former NFL exec Gil Brandt on why he'd take Mack: "There's no comparison, in my mind, of how they project to the next level. I don't care where Mack played. When you look at the most important characteristics for projecting NFL success for an outside linebacker, Mack is so much further ahead of Barr it's not even funny." Both Davis and Brooks concede that Mack is a better player right now, but both say Barr will be better in three years. Here's Brooks: "I think he's a natural pass rusher at the next level and will be dominant. You put him as an OLB in a 3-4 defense and let him go. He'll be a double-digit sack artist. Mack is much more NFL-ready at this point, but in three years I don't think it will be even close."
Sat, Apr 26, 2014 07:52:00 PM's Charles Davis calls UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr "one of my favorite players in the draft" and ranks him as the No. 8 prospect.

Barr's detractors -- such as ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper -- are vocal and incisive about Barr's flaws. One can get lost amidst those critiques and forget that there's many that still view Barr as a potentially transcendent talent. Davis is one such evaluator: "[Barr's] ceiling is high, and potential just starting to be realized after beginning his career as a RB for the Bruins. At nearly 6-6, he has plenty of frame to add weight, and muscle. Some might see him as a pure DE instead of an OLB. In any case, he's a player that is coveted."
Sat, Apr 26, 2014 06:36:00 PM's Gil Brandt believes UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr is "becoming the wildcard in this draft."

"Barr is becoming wildcard in this draft. He could go as high to Falcons or drop to Cowboys. Brandt tweeted in response to if it was possible that Anthony Barr will drop to the Dallas Cowboys. With Barr only spending two seasons on the defensive side of the ball, he is a bit raw with his pass rushing abilities. The upside is there with Barr and the sky could be the limit, but he'll have to prove to teams that he's worth the gamble with a high pick in the first.
Wed, Apr 23, 2014 02:27:00 AM's Jeff Richardson reports that UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr had a private workout with the Bears back in March.

"Most draft analysts consider Barr a better fit in a 3-4 defense where he can stand up and rush the passer, but the Bears have been known to make unorthodox selections the last two years. Few people predicted 2012 first-round choice Shea McClellin would be taken by a team that used a 4-3 defense, but the Bears snatched the hybrid McClellin up with the No. 19 overall pick," Richardson wrote. Perhaps the Bears are looking for another versatile chess piece to add to their defense. Mel Tucker should be able to take advantage of Barr's freakish athleticism, as a pass rusher in special sub-packages.
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 03:22:00 PM

UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr and Auburn T Greg Robinson are visiting the Falcons on Tuesday.

Barr is more likely to be available at No. 6, but the Falcons have displayed the willingness to trade up in the draft in previous years. The team was having more success then, however. The Falcons need to focus on the offensive and defensive lines in this draft.
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:29:00 AM

UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr had a pre-draft visit with the Steelers on Monday.

There are questions surrounding Barr, but this much is not up for debate: He's one of the most gifted pass rushers in the draft, a 6-foot-5, 255-pounder with the speed and athleticism of a former running back. Some believe he'll be exposed at the next level as being a speed rusher that can be easily misdirected, while others see star written all over him. While Pittsburgh might provide a nice schematic fit for Barr's skills, it's unlikely that the Steelers will use another first-round on an OLB after doing so with Jarvis Jones last year. Barr ranks as Mel Kiper's No. 15 player: "He has a decent arsenal of moves, using quick feet and hands to free himself, and he's disciplined against the run, pursuing with speed when the play runs away from him. I love the effort, and the athleticism, but as a former fullback, he needs to grow in his awareness."
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 08:00:00 PM

Former scout John Middlekauff has spoken with more and more NFL personnel who view UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr as a mid to late first-round talent.

"Biggest thing I hear about Barr is he is not violent and is a raw pass rusher - just a big athlete," Middlekauff tweeted, adding he thinks the edge rusher's ceiling is high. This is the same criticism we have been nailing home for weeks. Barr has only spent two seasons on the defensive side of the ball, but he lacks power in his hands and a counter move once his initial momentum is stopped. Barr has been tabbed as a prospect with potential, but few prospects actually reach their peak.
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 10:32:00 AM

NFL Films' Greg Cosell compares UCLA edge player Anthony Barr to Browns' OLB Barkevious Mingo.

The respected evaluator believes Barr will be used similarly to the way Cleveland used the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft. In other words, Cosell believes Barr will be a situation player; Mingo was on the field for less than 60 percent of the Browns' defensive snaps. "When you watch [Barr] on film, he's a very unrefined player," Cosell said. "He's a pass rusher in sub-packages until he matures physically and mentally."
Fri, Apr 18, 2014 01:03:00 AM

UCLA edge player Anthony Barr fell from No. 8 to No. 15 overall on ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's most recent Big Board.

"I didn't drop Barr quite as far as Mr. McShay, but his senior tape is a concern because you have to wonder about his instincts on defense," Kiper wrote. "That said, Barr has been a disruptive pass-rushing force and can still get better given a lack of experience on defense. He has a decent arsenal of moves, using quick feet and hands to free himself, and he's disciplined against the run, pursuing with speed when the play runs away from him. I love the effort, and the athleticism, but as a former fullback, he needs to grow in his awareness." We love Barr's exceptional upfield speed, but the shoddy technique is exacerbated by the lack of power in his hands; without either, counter moves become extremely difficult to execute.
Thu, Apr 17, 2014 11:45:00 PM

UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr was told by Cowboys' defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli that he could play defensive end on a 4-3 team.

"I spoke with him at length today. He showed me a lot of tape of (Julius) Peppers and Simeon Rice and (Warren) Sapp, so I think he wants me playing that defensive right end position to go after the quarterback, and that's something I'm all for," Barr, who is visiting Dallas, said. For that transition to occur, Barr would have to pack muscle onto his frame, and, perhaps more importantly, be taught how to disengage and use counter moves in close quarters. It doesn't sound like the best idea, as using his speed in space is Barr's primary strength right now. UCLA coach Jim Mora, however, agrees with Marinelli. "For a 3-4 team, he's definitely an outside linebacker," Mora said. "I do think he could weigh 260 pounds and maintain his speed and quickness, to play defensive end for a 4-3 team. He was our right end in nickel. He didn't feel comfortable going down (with a hand in the ground) and just rushed from a two-point (stance). He'll get better at that."
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 04:38:00 PM

Over the next two weeks, UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr will meet with the Cowboys, Vikings, Steelers, Falcons and Eagles.

Many teams, no doubt blown away by Barr's athleticism and perhaps disappointed by his tape, want a firsthand look at the Bruins' prospect before making a decision. Barr was discussed in the same breath as Jadeveon Clowney for most of the season, but upon closer examination was exposed as being a speed rusher that can be easily misdirected. The question: Is that because of shoddy technique explained away by his defensive inexperience (he started his UCLA career at RB)? Or, as was the case with Aaron Maybin, is he a one-trick pony that blows by slower collegiate tackles and chases down slower NCAA RBs, but can't succeed when his movement is impeded by the sort of massive and agile OTs that the NFL employs? Someone is going to have to pay a big price to find out the answer to that question.
Mon, Apr 14, 2014 06:22:00 PM

Brian Baldinger admitted to being blown away by UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr's fluidity.

"For playing OLB for two years, when I watch him I am blown away by just how fluid he moves and how smooth he is," Baldinger began. He went on to compare Barr to former Pro Bowler Willie Thomas, albeit "bigger, but even faster and more athletic, but you never see him on the ground." Obviously Baldinger is impressed at Barr's progression despite only playing the position for two years. We are not, specifically regarding Barr's hand use and inability to succeed after his initial line is stopped.
Fri, Apr 11, 2014 11:43:00 AM

ESPN's Mel Kiper said UCLA edge player Anthony Barr "was not what you thought he was" when watching game film.

Kiper begrudgingly conceded that colleague Todd McShay pegged this a few months ago. "The bottom line is he has to get better," Kiper said. "He's got to get more instinctive, learn more about being a defensive football player; looks a little lost out there at times, doesn't play with a defensive mentality, plays like more of an offensive player, which he once was." Kiper now agrees with McShay that Barr shouldn't go before the late first-round as a developmental player in need of coaching.
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 09:15:00 PM

UCLA edge player Anthony Barr is visiting the Jaguars on Wednesday.

Barr would likely play the LEO role for the Jaguars in Gus Bradley's scheme, which would play to his strengths of burst and closing speed. Barr's skills are coveted, in terms of chasing plays down from the backside and looping to the interior, but he failed to generate counter moves this season once his initial momentum was stopped.
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 12:43:00 PM