Victor Calzada/Associated Press
Anthony Barr is one of the more naturally gifted players in this year’s draft. However, he needs to develop a better feel for the game. His fit with the Minnesota Vikings is interesting and has a chance to backfire.
His best attribute is his ability to generate pressure on the quarterback. He’s built to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 system. The issue is that the Vikings will run a 4-3 attack with new head coach Mike Zimmer in place.
It’s possible the Vikings could try him at defensive end, where he can focus on rushing the quarterback. However, Minnesota has several solid defensive ends like Brian Robison, Everson Griffen and Corey Wootton. It’ll be tough for Barr to find playing time within that rotation.
The more likely scenario is for Barr to line up at outside linebacker and attack the quarterback on passing downs. This concerns me because it means that he’ll be asked to drop in coverage more often than not. All aspects of his game can be considered works in progress, but it is especially true of his coverage skills.
This pick is an odd fit, especially when someone like Aaron Donald was still on the board. He would have been a great complement to Minnesota’s edge pressure because of his ability to wreak havoc from the middle of the defense.