With the No. 9 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected outside linebacker Anthony Barr of the UCLA Bruins. Barr is one of the most explosive defensive prospects in the draft and came in at No. 22 on SB Nation's top 200 big board, second among all outside linebackers behind only Khalil Mack.
Barr will give the Vikings a dangerous pass-rusher off the edge who can disrupt with his athleticism and speed. The former Pac-12 standout was a force of nature during his collegiate days, racking up honors that included First-Team All-in 2013 and Second-Team the year prior.
Christopher Gates expects the Vikings to employ Barr all over the field in 2014, as Mike Zimmer learns how to best use his new pass rusher:
With his 4.41 40-yard dash time and very good agility numbers at the combine, scouts have said that Barr could fill the outside linebacker spot in either a 4-3 defense or a 3-4. That's the sort of versatility that Mike Zimmer likes in his defenders, and we should expect to see Barr all over the field as a rookie. He'll likely be able to contribute with his pass-rushing skills right away, and time will tell if he will be able to translate his incredible athletic skills into becoming a more well-rounded defender.
In 2013, Barr racked up 10 sacks to lead UCLA on his way to a berth in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against Virginia Tech. The one knock on Barr is his ability to play a well-rounded game against the run, but with increased understanding of technique that may come in time. For now, Barr is a physical freak at 6'4 and 250 pounds who can bend at the hips and fly off the outside shoulder of a tackle.
40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds
Bench: 15 reps
Vertical jump: 34.5 inches
Broad jump: 119 inches
3-cone drill: 6.82 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.19 seconds