Nov 2, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) is called for a roughing the passer penalty after a hit on Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau (13) at Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Colorado 45-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA


Anthony Barr is my wild card of this year’s draft.  He could be one of the first picks of the draft, or we could see him slide back several picks.

Barr started out at UCLA as a wide receiver and running back over two seasons.  His stats during that time weren’t that impressive.  He totaled 12 catches for 82 yards and 15 rushes for 54 yards with two total touchdowns on offense.  After Barr was moved from the offensive side of the ball, things really changed for him.

Barr is one of the most explosive players in this year’s draft.  His ability to rush the quarterback is very unique considering the lack of experience that he had at the position.  He showed power and agility in his new position and could actually just be coming into his own when it comes to the pass rush.

Here are his statistics over two years at OLB while at UCLA:

  • Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) during the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    103 solo tackles

  • 149 total tackles
  • 41.5 tackles for a loss
  • 23.5 sacks
  • 10 forced fumbles
  • 6 passes defended

Strengths

  • Acceleration allows quick and powerful hits
  • Freakishly athletic
  • Has great size (6’4″ and 248 pounds)
  • Can get to quarterbacks using several different moves
  • Shows excellent physical strength

Weaknesses

  • Lack of experience
  • May not fit many team’s schemes

Fit For The Vikings

Barr seems like he would flourish best as an outside linebacker/pass rush specialist in a 3-4 defense.  However, many scouts feel that he could play well as a strong side linebacker in a 4-3.

My Take

As much as I love Barr, I’d hate to see him come to the Vikings and not be able to be used the way he should be.  He should find himself a role similar to that of Clay Matthews in Green Bay.  There is some belief that he can transition to defensive end, but that has yet to be seen.

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