Posted: 11:31 am Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Falcons’ draft board: Khalil Mack vs. Anthony Barr 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

NFL Network's Mike Mayock said he can't find a hole in Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack's game.  (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said he can’t find a hole in Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack’s game. (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

INDIANAPOLIS – The word on the streets of the Circle City is that the Atlanta Falcons have Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack rated higher than UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.

Both of the linebackers could help the Falcons defense and should be available if they hold onto the sixth pick in the draft.

Mack tested better than Barr at the NFL scouting combine on Monday.

Mack ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds (tied for fourth), had a vertical leap of 40 inches (second), broad jump of 10 feet, 8 inches (second), lifted 225 pounds, 23 times (11th) and three-cone drill of 7.08 (10th) and 20-yard shuttle time of 4.18 (fifth).

Barr ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds (sixth), had a vertical of 34.5 (14th), had the broad jump of 9 feet, 11 inches (12th), lifted 225 pounds, 15 times (Not in top performers), ran the three-cone drill in 6.82 seconds (third) and the 20-yard shuttle time of 4.19 (sixth).

Based on the numbers the speed is basically a tie. Mack appears to have a more explosive lower body and is stronger than Barr (23 to 15 lifts).

While Barr has a better ability to change direction at a high-speed based on the three-cone drills and a slight end in lateral quickness and explosion in short areas (20-yard shuttle).

Mack is 23 and Barr turns 22 on March 18.

Barr starting his college career as a running back before old Falcons coach Jim Mora switched him to the defensive side of the ball.

“The transition was pretty smooth, honestly,” Barr said. “ It was difficult at first. I think moving backwards, going back in coverage, was something that was new to me. But now, I feel comfortable with that. …It’s still sort of new to me in a sense. It’s exciting. If I continue to work, the sky’s the limit.”

Here’s a previous blog on Mack. CLICK HERE.

Here’s a fine Buffalo News story on Mack by Tim Graham.

Some more background on Mack from the Buffalo News and the dynamic Tim Graham.

29 comments
MatthewCenteno
MatthewCenteno

Here is my Falcons draft at this point post combine but before free agency. Booyah.

Round 1. OLB/DE Khalil Mack

 2. OG David Yankey

3. DE Jeremiah Attaochu

4. FS Dion Bailey

5. WR Bruce Ellington

6. OT Seantrel Henderson

7. TE Joe Don Duncan

Dman
Dman

I like Mack better. But, free agency will be the indicator of what we will take in the draft. I'm hoping we will address the OLine and DLineman in free agency. Then we can concentrate on Defense in the draft. Next week will be interesting when Free Agency begins.

MikeisBack
MikeisBack

Heck, if Mayock can't find a hole in his game...that's saying a lot. I take MACK.

Tougher
Tougher

Here's the deal…my opinion . Either Mack or Clowney will fall to us…we are in good shape with that. However, in order to make this draft a successful one would be to grab at least one more pick in the second round..high one of course. (to be in position to grab three players in the top 60)  Without sacrificing any of our 1st three picks this year. Give a pick or two in the 2015 draft in order to pick up and extra 2nd rounder this year! This draft is very deep.

doktrt
doktrt

Clowney may drop to Atlanta. He has a chance to be the next Aundray Bruce for Atlanta. If I'm the Falcons I try to move back several slots and perhaps  pick up an extra 3rd round pick in a very deep draft. With that pick go for Lewan. he could be the next Mike Kenn.


ganon88
ganon88

Keep our picks get MACK, draft a RB with speed and OL who we can groom for the future. MACK is way better football player than BARR. He has alot more experience at the position than BARR. And he very sound and has a nose for the ball. He knows whats going on when the ball is snapped. Match the film with the combine numbers MACK is legit. And dont give me this crap about he played against inferior competition. football is football. Think back when everyone said the same about Demarcus Ware who played at TROY. He's a beast of Pass rusher and pro bowler. Hell i hope the cowboys release him because of cap issues so the falcons can get him. Like someone said 2 years at a position over 4 years at a position. yall are crazy. Does Jamaal Anderson ring a bell? 

TheMonger
TheMonger

Falcons in good position at #6, strictly because they have 6 amazing OL and DL/OLB prospects to choose from...

1. Jadaveon Clowney

2. Greg Robinson

3. Jake Matthews

4. Anthony Barr

5. Khalil Mack

6. Taylor Lewan

In that order.  Plus in add the fact that 3 of the 5, and in my opinion, both St. Louis and Oakland need QB help, as Bradford and Pryor are not the answer either.  Combine that with Houston, Cleveland, and Jacksonville all needing Quarterbacks, and I can see at least 3 quarterbacks going in the top 5 picks, if St. Louis doesn't trade out of number 2.  Then you probably have Jadaveon Clowney and Jake Matthews going in the top 5 as well, and that leaves the Falcons with the possibilities of Robinson, Barr, Mack, and Lewan at number 6.  I think if Robinson is there, you have to pick him and hope Attaouchu is there in the top of the 2nd, or hope another good rush linebacker/defensive end is there alternately.  If Robinson is gone, then the choice is either Mack or Barr, and you can't go wrong with either.  I would give the slight edge to Barr, even though I really like Khalil Mack a lot.  Barr is just a tad more explosive in tight spaces than Mack, and I just think he can turn into a demon like Aldon Smith off of the edge.  Mack reminds me of a slightly more athletic Sean Weatherspoon, who can run, hit, tackle just fine, but Mack is more of a playmaker than Weatherspoon.  I just think Barr will be the better pass rusher of the two, and feel that is more of what the Falcons need.  Clowney is the only better pure pass rusher in this draft than Barr, and Mack is definitely 3rd, and may actually be a better pro player overall than Barr.  I just think Barr will be a better scheme fit for the Falcons, and he can really thrive under Nolan.  But a no lose for the Falcons no matter who they pick.  Let's just hope the 3 QB's  (Manziel, Bridgewater, Bordles) and Sammy Watkins get taken in the top 5, so the Falcons can have their pick of 5 of those 6 players I just listed.

Ho LeeFuk
Ho LeeFuk

Pick up greg hardy in FA and draft that OT from texas a&m and draft a guard in 3rd DT in 2nd.

LessIsMore
LessIsMore

Just say "no" to Barr.  No more experiments or conversion guys.  Mack in the first or OL and Attatoachu in the 2nd.  No trading up for Clowney either.  The teams that might take him early don't need him or have greater needs elsewhere.  Falcons don't let the Texans or Ram sucker you into trading up.  Keep our picks and build up both lines.  Address RB, KR,WR, LB, and TE in the later rounds.  Use Pioli, Devaney , and Vital to find late round gems.  That's why they get paid.  Let them do their job Arthur Blank......

JSSN
JSSN

The biggest problem is that most Falcons fans want a "quick fix" instead of the necessary pain of the "right fix." If you were so worried about time and windows, 2011 was the time to have made right-minded "quick fix" moves.

Steve_Zissou
Steve_Zissou

Barr reminds me of the failed Jamal Anderson experiment.  Offensive player with athleticism moves to defense where he blows up for 1-2 season and gets picked up by a team enamored more with his combine stats than football IQ.  I hope we go after Clowney or Mack.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

I hope the Falcons stick to the list. Robinson, Matthews or the Nevada offensive lineman would be great. If Clowney is still there at six pick him. If not draft another defensive player who can come right in and be an impact player. If you cut with some of your players-- free agency should put the team in a good position. I think six players selected right could make this Falcon team very competitive. Now let's see if Dimitroff and company can pull this thing off. If not fill in the blanks.

kerryb
kerryb

Funny, Falcons fans whined and cried in 2011 when the Falcons moved up, gave away draft picks to select a franchise WR who is one of the hardest workers on the team.  Now they want the Falcons to trade away picks in the deepest draft in 10 years to move up and get a slacker.  MAKE UP YOUR MINDS!!!

RBI
RBI

This is the best and deepest draft in 10 years... do not give up picks to move up!  Multiple terrific players will be there at 6 in the 1st round.  


The only way I see the Falcons taking Clowney is if he is there at 6, plus Khalil Mack, Jake Mathews, Greg Robinson, AND Taylor Lewan have already been taken.  

Clowney is a slacker!  Let some other team shoot their selves in the foot by taking him.

RBI
RBI

Should the Falcons trade up to draft Clowney?  


That's a 'clown' question, bro.


OriginalATLien
OriginalATLien

Some folks simply need to get hooked on phonics!

davidv14
davidv14

This is very important to the Falcons to get Clowney.   You can get role players on the defensive line and linebackers anytime, and survive for a little while.   Falcons been doing that; however, a player like Clowney will not come around too much.   BELIEVE ON THE FIELD, HE WILL MAKE EVERYONE AROUND HIM BETTER.  WHY?  Because, offensive especially QBs will have to know where he is line-up on every play meaning other players will get over look playing next to him to make a play.  He is a presents now, and I have news for you all; he will even get better once he get more experience in this league. 

davidv14
davidv14

I believe the Falcons must trade up to get Jadeveon Clowney.   Falcons has not have an impact player on the defensive line; well a very long time.   I believe they can rotate linebackers and you can get a linebacker or offensive lineman in the later rounds or by free agent anytime.   

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

Barr measured out at 6-5 at the combine and weighed 255lbs.

At 6-5 why was he ever a RB to start with?

BTW, I'd take Barr over Mack in a close decision.

CheFalconZay
CheFalconZay

@Tougher Clowney will not "fall" to us. You're the only person in the world who thinks that.. we'll have to trade up to get him. Mack is possible at six, but Clowney is definitely not.

JSSN
JSSN

@Tougher  

The 2015 draft is going to be loaded as some key areas are going to be ending their Falcons years. You better hold those picks!

JSSN
JSSN

@Steve_Zissou

Anderson was never as explosive as Barr. But, the Falcons rely more on scheme than any aspiring "elite" teams to get results. Therefore the real danger is whether Barr will naturally latch on to that complexity while not losing the natural instinct that have made him desirable as a talent.

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

@kerryb  And who are those whiners? Most that I see do NOT want to trade up, but instead to trade down. 

JSSN
JSSN

@MikeBanning  

Anthony was 235  and closer to 6'3" when he came to UCLA from Loyola - Pico's famed program. Everybody use to compare him to Eddie George and Brandon Jacobs. He ran tall with leverage. Still, he was a (Rick) Neuhesiel recruit.  And almost all services felt he might be converted to either TE (as he grew) or a LB or DE. Mora, to his credit did just that, the rest is history.

DOrlandoLedbetter
DOrlandoLedbetter moderator

@MikeBanningSize – 6-4, 255 is what he told us in the media room.

Trackbacks

  1. […] to D. Orlando Ledbetter of theAtlanta Journal-Constitution, the “word on the streets” in Indianapolis at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is that the Falcons prefer Mack over […]

  2. […] to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Falcons have Buffalo LB Khalil Mack rated higher than UCLA LB Anthony Barr on their […]

  3. […] Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Atlanta Falcons favor Mack over Barr, which could lead to a slight fall for the […]

  4. […] If Clowney isn’t there, the Falcons might have to consider a way to entice the Jaguars away from selecting Mack, as Khalil Mack is one of their top-rated players, and above Anthony Barr. […]

  5. […] If Clowney isn’t there, the Falcons might have to consider a way to entice the Jaguars away from selecting Mack, as Khalil Mack is one of their top-rated players, and above Anthony Barr. […]

  6. […] from the scouting combine on Feb. 25 that the Falcons, at least from what he was hearing, had Mack rated higher than Barr on their draft […]

  7. […] Atlanta Falcons want either Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr at 6. Verdict: Bullshit. When it comes to defensive ends, no matter what anyone says, they all want […]

  8. […] isn’t concerned as to whether his inexperience at the position will hurt him in the NFL, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta […]

  9. […] seems like eons ago, but it was rumored back in February that the Falcons liked Mack better than Barr. And at least as far as reported visits go, it would […]