Sept. 22, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa (94) and linebacker Anthony Barr (11) sack Oregon State Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion (4) and force a fumble in the third quarter of the game at the Rose Bowl. Oregon State won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Before the draft season even began and while college football was still playing, Anthony Barr was one of the players that was argued as the top prospect in the NFL Draft. His ability to get off of the edge and disrupt the passing game with the Bruins was impressive and he was getting the hype over Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack.
With the over-evaluations in progress for the NFL Draft, Barr has been taking a dip in stock. In some cases, I have seen Barr sliding down to the 20th spot in drafts. Any more of this epic sliding and we will see Barr with some lightning bolts on the side of his jersey.
Where is the epic slide coming from? Barr is a raw talent. He only has started playing on the defensive side of the football for the last couple of seasons, so he still has a lot to learn. He has to wrap up on tackles better. He needs to shed his blockers better. He still needs work in the run game. He still needs work in pass coverage. Did I mention that he has only been on the defensive side of the football for the last couple of seasons?
If that is all the downfalls, then what is all the hype? Barr is a monster athlete. He stands at 6-foot-5 and he is a freak athlete. He has good speed and balance getting after the football. He is a menace getting after the quarterback and blowing up plays in the backfield. In his first season on defense, he racked up 13.5 sacks and had 21.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. In his next season, he saw more double teams and still racked up 10 sacks and 20 tackles behind the line. His potential is off the charts, but some teams are unsure if he can reach that potential.
If he somehow makes that epic slide to the 25th selection, then the Chargers need to pounce. Adding Barr on the defense would give the team a huge boost getting after the quarterback. Imagine having Dwight Freeney and Anthony Barr crashing down from the edge on passing downs. Teams wouldn’t get much time to throw that football and any success by the opposing teams on 3rd and long should be a thing of the past.