Posted: 6:00 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Falcons’ draft board: UCLA LB Anthony Barr to visit Tuesday 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Each morning, from now until the draft starts on May 8, we’ll do a short profile of a player who’s on the Falcons’ Draft Board. We’ll focus on team-needs, possible selections, players the Falcons have worked out and/or interviewed, etc. The Falcons own 10 picks in this draft. Today we’ll look at UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, who’s scheduled to visit Flowery Branch on Tuesday.

Player: Anthony Barr

Position: Outside linebacker

School: UCLA

Height and weight: 6-5, 255

UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, left, sacks Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley during the second half of their NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. UCLA won 38-28. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, left, sacks Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley during the second half of their NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. UCLA won 38-28. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Combine numbers: 4.66 seconds in the 40-yard dash (4.41 at Pro Day); 15 reps on the 225-pound bench press (19 at Pro Day); 34 1/2-inch vertical; 9-11 broad jump, 4.19 seconds in the shuttle run and 6.82 in the three-cone drill.

Projected Round: He’s the second-rated outside linebacker in the draft and projected to be selected in the first round by NFLDraftScout.com.

Career Highlights:After former Falcons coach Jim Mora Jr. converted Barr to a linebacker from running back, his career at UCLA took off. He had 13.5 sacks as a junior and returned for his senior season and had 10 sacks.

Quotes: “The transition (from running back to linebacker) was pretty smooth, honestly. (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. Just sort of getting used to the position. It’s still sort of new to me in a sense. It’s exciting. If I continue to work, the sky’s the limit. …I’m a pretty aggressive person, especially when it comes to competing. I think (defense) gives me a little outlet. …Shedding blocks, defending the run, using my hands (are things to work on). I think those things are still new to me, things I’m still working on. If I continue to work on it, I think I’ll be able to perfect those.”

Falcons level on interest: Barr’s ability to rush the passer in intriguing to the Falcons, who’ve struggled in the sack department. They must determine if he’s an “elite” pass rusher. His ability to play in coverage must also be closely assessed. One longtime NFL scout told us that his stock was dropping when his name was mentioned at UGA Pro Day on Wednesday.

FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–BLOG: A list of the confirmed players at LOCALS DAY on Tuesday

–BLOG: FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Falcons on Monday

–Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($): Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

–A look at Louisville LB Preston Brown

–A look at Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

–A look at Texas OLB/DE Jackson Jeffcoat

–A look at West Virginia RB Charles Sims

–A look at Auburn DE Dee Ford

–A look at Brigham Young OLB Kyle Van Noy

–A look at Arizona State OLB/DE Carl Bradford

FALCONS REWIND

–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: New jersey numbers picked; Devin Hester to wear No. 17

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

MEET THE FREE AGENT SIGNEES

–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

2014 NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day

9 comments
Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

They need to serve more Belgian beer in the Dome on game days. 

ftputt
ftputt

Anyone remember the 8th pick in the draft (BUST) Jamal Anderson?  Was a TE that went to DE.  Was a work in progress, and couldn't take it in the NFL.  Not sure only playing OLB for 2 years is enough to handle OLB in the NFL.  Hopefully he can get there, but there is a risk element to him.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

23.5 sacks his final 2 years.

That's no work in progress.

Wonder what Moron Jr tells him about the Smitty & the Falcons?

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

The Falcons need draft picks that can come in an start. I don't know if Barr fits that mold, I think he's a work in progress..... 

JSSN
JSSN

@ftputt

Please stop with the comparison to Jamaal Anderson, he's has way more upside than he had. The problem is, the Falcons don't have the time to not get immediate compatibility (especially with complex Mike Nolan's scheme). Barr can flat out play, but you have to have the right fit in a defensive for him!

Yes, he's a conversion; but, the issue of a "reach pick" sits more on the desk of the Falcons administration. That 2007 draft's first round was filled with some of the great reach picks of all times! GMs galore wrote their own pink slip that night (especially McKay)! 

JSSN
JSSN

@BigCrimson75  

Saw him play in HS (Loyola-Pico), he's still a work in progress (and that's a good thing)! He's as freakish as Clowney. He benefited from playing with two really good DTs at UCLA (jones and Espensa). Together, those 3 collapsed pockets.

Can the Falcons do that to free him up? That is the question. 

DirtyFalcon88
DirtyFalcon88

@DarlaLewis  I like Khalil Mack, Greg Robinson, or Jake Matthews with that #6 pick.. I don't think Jadeveon will be available at the 6 spot

DirtyFalcon88
DirtyFalcon88

@DarlaLewis  Agreed.. he will probably be used as a situational pass rusher his first year which bothers me too because we really need this pick to contribute immediately in a BIG way