The Vikings haggled the Browns for a fifth round pick to move back a single spot. If Justin Gilbert was their target, they would not have done the deal. It's all a bonus for Minnesota, who needed extra picks.
With the ninth pick, Minnesota addressed their need for a linebacker with pass-rush value.
Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Anthony Barr burst onto the scene as a junior, his first year playing on the defensive side of the ball. His football IQ and ability to take to coaching are evident in the way he took to a new position and thrived. By most accounts, he did not take the next step as a senior.
My initial reaction is that Mike Zimmer has a task ahead of him, but the rewards of having Anthony Barr on the roster could be huge. Few linebackers have the natural athleticism of Barr, so freeing him up to utilize his speed as a rusher is the key.
Barr is a pure speed-rusher who can fly around the corner. He combines that with flexibility to dip around the corner and finish past tackles. He's also fast in the open field, closing in a hurry when he plays over the top.
His technique is a big issue. It is the biggest task moving forward. His hand usage, leverage, and repertoire of rush moves all come up short. He struggles to play off blocks in the running game, which makes him more of a one-trick pony than anything.
From all angles, Barr certainly brings something different to the table than anything the Vikings currently have in linebackers. His athleticism and pass-rush ability will be a big boon for a defensive scheme that likes to bring pressure packages.