Anthony Barr   LB/DE   UCLA

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

STRENGTHS
Anthony has the kind of explosion, size and length you look for in a pass rusher for the next level. He has good size and his north-south speed is very good. He shows excellent quickness out of a three point stance and his athletic skills and ability to turn the corner on an offensive tackle and sack or strip the ball from the quarterback is amazing. His quickness will be hard to handle for some of the best offensive tackles at the next level on third and long situations. Anthony does a decent job against the run and with his long arms can knock down passes when he is being double teamed. Anthony has the potential to be an impact defensive player in the right defense.

CONCERNS
Anthony lacks the lateral agility to be used as an OLB/DE in the 3-4 defenses that everyone feels he is a perfect fit for at the next level. That is everyone but me! He struggles to string out sweeps to his side and hold the point of attack when he is being used as a DE in the 3-4 because of this lack of lateral agility. He can disappear for long periods of times in a game when he is used as an OLB in the 3-4 because of his lack of experience playing on the defensive side of the ball. When used in coverage his lack of lateral agility is magnified and players can easily separate from him.

BOTTOM LINE
Anthony reminds me a lot of the Giants Mathias Kiwanuka. The Giants drafted Mathias and made him a linebacker because they couldnít get him on the field as a defensive end, because of his size and work out numbers. Mathias also lacks the lateral agility to cover and string out running plays to his side of the defense and has become a solid player, but never the impact player he would have become if they used him as a defensive end in their 4-3 defense. The same thing will happen if teams decide to use Anthony as a linebacker. In coverage it will be easy to separate from Anthony and tight ends will take advantage in third and short situations. Anthony has natural pass rushing skills to impact right away, and in the future the ability to be stout against the run as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense where his lack of lateral agility becomes less of an issue. A player that plays defensive end in a 4-3 defense relies more on taking correct angles, strength, and turning plays inside so linebackers can make the tackle. Lateral agility is not needed to be an excellent defensive end in a 4-3 defense. I really like Anthonyís potential to be an impact player at the next level but not in a 3-4 defense that everyone seems to feel he is a perfect fit for just because thatís what he plays in college. In that defense, I think he becomes a solid player but not an impact player. But as a weakside pass rushing demon in a 4-3 defenseÖto me thatís the position he was born to play and make an impact in. Now I know I will be the lone wolf howling in the wind suggesting Anthony fits a defensive system better than the system he is playing at the college level. But what can I say? Thatís how I see it.

Drew Boylhart
Dec/2013