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Pittsburgh Steelers Pre-Draft Visitor UCLA Linebacker Anthony Barr

April 24th, 2014 at 7:44 AM
By Mark Mihalko

After drafting Jarvis Jones in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft and placing the Transition Tag on linebacker Jason Worilds , it would be hard to imagine that the Pittsburgh Steelers would select a linebacker with their pick at number 15. However, that could all change if pre-draft visitor outside linebacker Anthony Barr from UCLA is on the board when they are due to pick..

'USC vs. UCLA Football 2012' photo (c) 2012, Neon Tommy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
 Barr is viewed by many as an ascending prospect that has limited experience on the defensive side of the ball, but he has a rare combination of size and speed that could make him a nightmare for offenses across the league. Playing defense for only two seasons, Barr has not only has the athleticism to be a feared pass rusher, he plays with an edge and can explode into ballcarriers.  .

At 6-5, 255-pounds, and 4.66 timed speed, Barr would fit the prototype outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. Couple that natural athletic ability with his long arms and developing array of pass rush moves, and it is easy to see why scouts are enamored with his potential.

Unfortunately, his lack of experience on the defensive side of the ball has not allowed him to fully develop into the all-around talent many project. Raw with is technique, he must prove whether he can truly anchor or set the edge in the run game. Not to mention the fact that he must gain refinement in coverage.

In the end, Barr could have the most upside of any edge rusher in this draft class. A former running back, he has the natural skillset to make the transition, if he lands with the right franchise. The Steelers could be that team if they stay true to their board instead of drafting for need, as he could be the highest rated player available in the first round. Although, at this point that would seem like an unlikely scenario with the 3-4 teams drafting ahead of them.  

Pre-Draft Visitors/ Prospect Profiles

Cornerbacks (6)

Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson (Profile 3/28)

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard (Profile 3/29)

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett (Profile 4/6)

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby (Profile 4/10)

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines (Profile 4/17)

Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert (Profile 2/15)

Wide Receivers (7)

Pittsburg State wide receiver John Brown (Profile 3/31)

Mississippi wide receiver Dante Moncrief (Profile 4/3)

South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington (Profile 4/5)

Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant (Profile 4/7)

Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (Profile 2/5)

Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans (Profile 2/6)

Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson (Profile 2/16)

Running Backs (1)

Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk (Profile 4/1)

Safety (3)

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor (Profile 4/8)

Minnesota safety Brock Vereen (Profile 4/8)

Washington State safety Deone Bucannon (Profile 4/13)

Linebackers (7)

Arizona State outside linebacker/defensive end Carl Bradford (Profile 4/12)

Boston College linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (Profile 4/14)

UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (Profile 4/15)

Auburn outside linebacker/defensive end Dee Ford (Profile 2/16)

Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat (Profile 4/21)

Oregon State outside linebacker / defensive end Scott Crichton (Profile 4/23)

UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr (Profile 4/24)

Defensive Linemen (4)

Minnesota defensive end Ra’Shede Hageman (Profile 4/19)

Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt (Profile 4/20)

Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix (Profile 2/7)

Wisconsin nose tackle Beau Allen (Profile 4/22)

Tight Ends (1)

North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron (Profile 2/9)

Also,

• Be sure to "like" Steelers 101 on Facebook and to follow Steelers 101 on Twitter

• Be sure to “like” Sports Media 101 on Facebook and to follow Sports Media 101 on Twitter

Tags: Anthony Barr, Football, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, pre-draft visitors, UCLA

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