Football Memo

Draft Profile Series: Anthony Barr

Defensive end/linebacker Anthony Barr

As we approach the deepest NFL Draft in recent memory, I’ll give my breakdown and analysis of 75 top prospects in this year’s class. At the conclusion of this series, I will include my final overall and positional rankings, as well as a mock draft.

Anthony Barr, OLB, 6-5, 255, UCLA
Key stats:
Had 149 tackles, 41.5 tackles for loss, and 23.5 sacks in last two seasons.
Strengths:
Tremendous athlete with near-perfect frame for a 3-4 outside linebacker. … Is very quick and fast with long arms. … Tremendous agility and closing speed. … Has quick first step and can bend and flatten to quarterback. …Right now, he’s at his best when in attack mode, because there are few players with his measurable that can move as well as he does. … Is adept at stripping quarterback. … Is physical enough to set the edge. … Has incredibly high upside.
Weaknesses:
Thinking too much, and that is making him a step slow. … Takes too long to read play. … Can be overpowered at point of attack. … Needs to add strength and improve shedding blocks. … Not real comfortable in pass drops. … Struggles to break down in space and needs plenty of work on his zone coverage skills. … Tends to follow receivers instead of redirecting them and remaining in his zone. … When setting edge, dips shoulder and turns. … He forces plays inside – which is good – but also takes himself out of plays. … Really needs to improve hand placement for both pass rushing and shedding blockers in the run game.
Conclusion:
Barr is an easy evaluation. … He is a raw talent with enormous potential. … It wouldn’t surprise me to see him struggle mightily early on when he’s asked to do anything more than rush the passer. … Right now, Barr is thinking too much, instead of reacting. … He just started playing defense in 20112 (Previously played running back) … Despite all of that, Barr still was one of the most feared and productive defensive players in college football over the past two seasons. … If he can sharpen his instincts and make quicker reads, he will be a superstar. … If his instincts don’t improve, he will be an average NFL player.
NFL comparison:
DeMarcus Ware/Aldon Smith
Draft projection:
First round; anywhere from 7 to 32.

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