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Meet Minnesota Vikings First Round Pick Anthony Barr

Joe Robbins, Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings traded down from 8 to 9 in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, swapping places with the Cleveland Browns. With all but Blake Bortles on the board, many anticipated Minnesota to select a quarterback. Rick Spielman and clan had other plans, looking to boost the defense.

The Vikings used their 9th overall pick to select Anthony Barr, outside linebacker from UCLA. Barr measures in at 6′ 5″ and 255 pounds. He was born in South Bend, Indiana, and comes from a Notre Dame family. His father played fullback for the Irish, and was drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round of the 1992 Draft.

NFL.com has his strengths listed as follows:

Exceptional take-off speed, acceleration and closing burst. Makes plays effortlessly in back-side lateral pursuit. Outstanding recovery quickness to make plays (when he is out of position). Explosive striker. Can produce “wow” plays when he triggers quickly or releases cleanly and has developed a reputation for knocking quarterbacks out of games (see USC, 2012 and New Mexico State, 2013).

Alternatively, NFL.com lists his weaknesses as follows:

Developing instincts — late to locate the ball and too easily fooled by play-action and misdirection. Motor runs hot and cold — does not always apply himself. Can be locked down too easily when engaged — unrefined hand use. Lacks variety of pass-rush moves and relies too much on natural speed. Average eyes, anticipation and awareness in coverage — marginal feel. Average base strength — moved off the ball too easily by tight ends (plays tall). Needs more time in the weight room — 15 bench-press reps were tied for the fewest among linebackers at the combine.

Overall, Barr fills a hole that the Minnesota Vikings defense has. His ability to be disruptive and make plays will certainly improve the impact of a defensive unit that needs to rebuild.

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