Anthony Barr would be an ideal fit for a hybrid scheme like what the Atlanta Falcons run. He's someone who could develop properly with excellent coaching and still has barely scratched the surface of his talent in just two years as a defender in college.
As Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reported, Barr had a scheduled flight to Atlanta that was cancelled due to flight issues and wasn’t supposed to meet with the team yet. However, this hints that a visit has been planned, and that the UCLA product is on the radar for the Falcons pass rush.
University of California, Los Angeles
Height: 6'4.875"; Weight: 255 pounds
Arm Length: 33.5"; Hand Measurement: 9.375"
40-yard dash: 4.66 sec.; 10-yard split: 1.56 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.19 sec.; 3-cone Drill: 6.82 sec.; Bench Reps: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5"; Broad Jump: 9'11"
2013: 13 Games Played, 66 Tackles, 20.0 Tackles for Loss, 10.0 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 6 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 1 Pass Deflection
2012: 14 Games Played, 82 Tackles, 21.0 Tackles for Loss, 13.0 Sacks, 4 QB Hurries, 4 Fumbles Forced, 5 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick, 1 Punt Return, 10 Yards
2011: 12 Games Played, 9 Carries, 25 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 3 Catches, 16 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 2 Tackles
2010: 12 Games Played, 6 Carries, 29 Yards, 9 Catches, 66 Yards, 1 Tackle
Barr’s athleticism, size and speed are off the charts. He takes advantage of his physical gifts on pass-rushing plays when he dips around the edge and chases. On top of his pass-rushing skill, he has shown abilities to defend the run at an average level.
He shoots gaps effectively when his linemen take on double-teams and can attack the ball-carrier. He understands basic coverage assignments like short zones and quick underneath man coverage on screens. He’s also an excellent off-field persona to have in a locker room.
While Barr is a very good athlete and understands the basics on how to do everything that he needs to do, he shows just how raw he is out there on the field. He needs coaching to help his hand usage, pass rushing, run defense and coverage improve from where they are.
He also needs to play a little bit more physical and aggressive than what he does. At times, he looks tentative when trying to fight off blockers. He also doesn’t seem to play with a high motor 100 percent of the time and should probably be rotated out a lot more often than he is.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Barr has a unique situation because he moved from a running back and H-back-type role to outside linebacker in the 3-4. He did it because it was the best move for the team and wound up one of the top prospects in the draft by just helping his team.
Off the field, Barr is known as one of the hardest workers for his team, via NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah. However, his motor does run a little hot and cold when watching him on the field. He was a team captain, though. So the motor issues could really just be adjustment issues from his position switch.
Overall, Barr is a talented player who should be a linebacker in the 3-4 and could possibly even play linebacker in the 4-3. He has the tools to play strong-side linebacker in the 4-3 effectively if he can learn how to cover a tight end effectively.
Ideally, he’ll get used in a similar role to how the Falcons used Kroy Biermann in 2012. He could look like Von Miller in that kind of role with his raw athleticism. Hopefully, he can develop into his full potential because he certainly has a whole heap of it.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
The Falcons would have to use their first-round pick if they wanted to bring in Barr. Fortunately, they could possibly trade down a little bit and secure his services while still collecting an extra pick later on in the draft.
The Falcons would instantly start the UCLA product as a weak-side linebacker—especially if they start to run more 3-4 sets in 2014. Barr would be used primarily as an edge-rusher, but being dropped into coverage and sliding around the formation to the strong side or even inside on some plays isn’t out of the question.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.