Anthony Barr NFL Draft 2014: Scouting Report Breakdown for Vikings OLB

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

October 12, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) defends against the California Golden Bears during the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (HT: 6’4⅞” WT: 255 lbs)

Minnesota Vikings (Vikings trade eighth pick to Browns for ninth and 145th picks)

First Round: Ninth Pick 

NFL Comparison: Derrick Brooks, OLB, Retired (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Combine Weigh-In
6'4 7/8"25533 1/2"9 3/8"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle
4.661.5634 1/2"9'11"6.824.19


  • Has untapped potential, but not close to a finished product. 
  • Took to a new position quickly, fine football IQ. 
  • Meets blocks with low pad level to keep leverage. 
  • Athletic upside is through the roof. 
  • Cleanly changes directions in space with fine lateral quickness. 
  • Quick off the ball with an efficient first step. 
  • Wins around the corner with pure speed and will accelerate past blockers. 
  • Able to press the edge and get tackles to overextend before darting to their inside gap. 
  • Has flashed ability to convert speed to power and bull rush. 
  • Attacks the throwing hand of quarterbacks and has a track record of forced fumbles. 
  • Light feet in pass coverage with comfort getting depth in a back pedal.
  • Sufficient job picking up the ball and keeping perimeter runs contained. 
  • Plays with lateral quickness that is tough for blockers to mirror, can win to inside gaps. 
  • Pursues the ball from space with speed to cover ground from sideline to sideline. 
  • Has athletic skill set to be groomed into a variety of defensive schemes. 
  • Consistently added weight since switching to defense and may be able to continue doing so if need be. 
  • Has NFL bloodlines; his father played in the NFL, as did three uncles.


  • Both inexperienced and raw as a defensive player. 
  • Plays with very little functional strength. 
  • Not exceptionally flexible in the lower half, takes extra steps trying to run the circle. 
  • Plays with hesitation while diagnosing plays, letting blockers set their feet regularly. 
  • Still learning to read and react to blocks, mostly predetermines his rush moves. 
  • Can be overwhelmed by blockers with strong hands, negligible upper body strength of his own. 
  • Little refinement in the usage of his hands as a whole. 
  • Doesn’t bat away or rip through the hands of pass blockers, holds back effectiveness of speed rushes. 
  • Little repertoire of pass-rush moves, including a powerless spin move. 
  • Ineffective if not helpless when a drive blocker gets to his frame. 
  • Struggles to keep his shoulders square and stack blocks at the line of scrimmage. 
  • Poor usage of his hands to create space and shed blocks. 
  • Leaves tackles on the field by only getting arms to ball carriers too often. 
  • Dominant performances were few and far between.
Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • A 4-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2010, ranked 102nd in ESPN 150
  • Played in offensive backfield for Rick Neuheisel in first two seasons at UCLA before switching to linebacker.  
  • Missed the Senior Bowl due to injury.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com.


Barr didn’t take the developmental step forward as a senior that he really needed to. That doesn’t take away the athletic upside that he has, though. It may cause concern towards how steep his learning curve is and where he happens to be on it right now. 

Barr may benefit from a move to a position that plays off the line of scrimmage more often, whether as a 3-4 weak-side linebacker or an off-ball linebacker spot in a 4-3 base defense. At least early on in his career, those positions would play to his strengths as long as he could handle the read and react aspect of those positions.

Draft Projection: First-Second Round

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