Anthony Barr vs Stanford (2013) (via Josh DB)
6-5, 255, 33.5" arms, 4.66 forty (4.41 pro day), 34.5" vert
2013: 66 tackles, 20 TFLs, 10 sacks, 6 FF
2012: 82 tackles, 21 TFLS, 13 sacks, 4 FF
Barr played RB his first 2 years at UCLA before switching to LB. And in his brief 2-yr stint at LB, Barr raised hell. The numbers speak for themself, and the guy barely knows what he's doing yet. His athleticism is drool-worthy. His body type is quintessential. He's tenacious. And he seems willing to do whatever it takes to win. He's raw, yes. But look at what he can do with what he has. Sometimes being polished and "NFL ready" is seen as a positive thing. I'm more inclined to disagree with that generality. The more polished a prospect is, the less likely he is to improve and the more difficult he becomes to mold. The best type of prospect is the guy like Barr. The guy with all the tools to be elite, but is also a bit of a clean slate when it comes to teaching him how you want him to play. Barr isn't going to have to unlearn a whole lot.
I chose to look at the Stanford game because it wasn't an ideal match-up for Barr. Stanford is renown for developing quality OLs and TEs, and running a power scheme with lots of overloads and traps. Barr's strong suit is not the run game. He's at his best when he's in space and can use his athleticism. I wanted to see how he handled being boxed in. I was impressed. He struggles getting off of blocks, but this is a skill that can be learned. And you can even see him learning in-game as the the game wore on. Early in the game he was getting stuck and sealed by a solo TE; later in the game I saw him fight off a TE, step into the hole to take on a pulling OL and fight through him, and make the tackle near scrimmage. He has that innate will to stick his nose in there and try to make a play, every play. Loved his motor in this game. I saw him chase down a bunch of guys he didn't really seem to have any business chasing down. One play in particular, he collisioned a low crossing TE then as he saw the QB throwing to the boundary, he spun out and dead sprinted to the sideline to get in on the tackle. On another, I saw him overrun a play and get blocked out of it, and again spin back and sprint like hell to get in on the tackle before the back had a chance to find a soft spot to bounce through. Gotta love that kind of fire.
Barr is athletically gifted. He's explosive as hell off the snap. He changes directions like a cat (see the clip above where he's chasing the QB, reads the reverse, and then quickly redirects to blow it up). He's got long arms. He seems smart. He's as tenacious as a badger. He needs to learn better run technique (and our coaches are arguably the best in the biz in that dept), and he needs to learn how to use his hands to gain leverage. But his ceiling is through the roof. He could easily be the guy that everybody is talking about 5 yrs from now, rather than Mack or Clowney.