Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Coach Zimmer is looking for Anthony Barr to do his best Von Miller impersonation this season, and why wouldn't he?
Barr was the one defensive prospect not named Jadeveon Clowney to come out of the 2014 draft with the highest ceiling. At UCLA he flashed amazing potential. He was aggressive, constantly successful got after the quarterback and clearly had all the physical features you'd want in a "new-age" linebacker.
It may have been a blessing that the Vikings elected to jump back into the first round of the draft and take Teddy Bridgewater. The quarterback position will always command more attention than any other, which has spared Barr from the wrath of the mainstream media.
Without that spotlight shining down, Barr has been impressive during camp. Coach Zimmer appears to be infatuated with the potential of his rookie pupil.
Brian Hall of Fox Sports North wrote, "The No. 9 overall pick in the draft, Barr has a 'strong' chance to start in Week 1, Zimmer said."
"Anthony has so many good things going for him," Zimmer told Hall. "He's extremely smart. He hardly ever makes the same mistake twice. He takes unbelievable notes, and he's a great athlete. He's got great size, great speed, great acceleration."
The real fun begins during the preseason. Watching him try to get after the quarterback is just one part of what fans will be looking for. Another major element is going to be figuring out how exactly Zimmer is going to use him.
We talked about him becoming Von Miller—a 4-3 linebacker who rushes the quarterback—but with Barr's athletic prowess, Zimmer may choose to get even more creative with him.
Barr's progress report so far has been stellar. Going by Zimmer's comments, all signs are pointing to the rookie having a big year.