2014 NFL Draft 1st Round Pick: Bills Look to UCLA

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Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) during the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr
Linebacker University of California, Los Angeles

The year is 2011, Anthony Barr is used primarily as a running back in the UCLA offense. Flash forward another year and that same dynamic running back has arguably one of the best seasons in college football at the LB position, recording 82 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. The very next season, while not as productive, Barr was still able to put up outstanding numbers, recording 66 total tackles, 20 of them for loss, 10.0 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. Even though Barr wasn’t as dominating statistically in his Senior season as his Junior season, he was still one of the country’s brightest stars. Where Barr stands out from most of the pack is his unbelievable combination of athleticism and ability. At 6’4″, 245-lbs, Barr is a lean and mean line backer who knows how to play. According to multiple scouts, Barr is great at using his strength and speed to his advantage, using his long arms and quick feet to avoid blockers and bring down running backs. In some cases Barr’s inability to effectively use his hands and shred blocks has hurt him, however with a bit of polishing in his game, Barr could be a huge play-maker for this Buffalo Bills defense. The California kid played all of his years in high school and his first two seasons at UCLA as a running back, look for that past speed (4.48 40-yard dash time) and ball carrier vision to prove to be extremely important in terms of stopping the run. With the numbers that Barr has put up despite hardly playing a snap at the line backer position shows his versatility and ability to adjust on the fly. If the Bills do end up drafting this kid 9th overall in the draft, look for Barr’s talents to be put to use immediately at the weak side line backer position with 2nd-year Nigel Bradham playing less-than-stellar football.

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