5 best Vikings rookies during the Mike Zimmer era

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Anthony Barr
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Anthony Barr /

3. Anthony Barr – LB

Rookie Stats (2014):

  • 70 tackles (6 for a loss), 4 sacks
  • 3 fumble recoveries, 3 pass breakups
  • 2 forced fumbles, 1 touchdown

Looking back on it, it’s no surprise that Mike Zimmer’s first draft pick as the Vikings’ head coach was a player from the defensive side of the ball.

While many wanted Minnesota to use the No. 9 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on a quarterback, Zimmer stuck to what he knows best and he added a versatile linebacker in Barr, who the team could build their defense around.

The rookie was inserted into the Vikings’ starting lineup immediately and after his first four games, he had already racked up a total of 23 tackles, four quarterback hits, and two sacks.

Barr’s best performance as a rookie came during Minnesota’s Week 8 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The young linebacker finished his day with eight tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery that he returned 27 yards the other way for the game-winning touchdown.

Unfortunately, Barr missed the Vikings’ final four games of 2014 with a knee injury. However, he certainly displayed his potential when he was on the field for Minnesota during his rookie season.