PFF Stat Chat: Vikings LB Anthony Barr
Each season, the analysis team at Pro Football Focus grades every NFL player on every single snap they take. As our crew travels to all 32 training camps, we’re turning to the players to see how well they know their own grades.
On day four of the tour, analysts John Kosko and Nathan Jahnke made their way to Mankato, Minn.
Last season, Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was the second-highest-graded linebacker in the NFL, behind only Carolina’s Luke Kuechly. After practice, he took the time to catch up with John and Nathan:
John Kosko: Hey Anthony, thanks for taking the time to chat.
Anthony Barr: My pleasure.
JK: So, you graded very well for PFF last year.
AB: Graded well—what does that mean?
JK: PFF grades every player, every play, every game.
AB: That sounds like a lot of work.
JK: [Laughing] Yeah, it definitely is. We’re working close to 100 hours per week during the season doing every NFL and NCAA D-I game.
AB: Oh, geez.
JK: For every snap, a player gets graded on a -2 to +2 scale, depending on how they impact the play. If you’re getting pressure quickly versus late in the play, it makes a difference on how the play is graded—things like that. It’s more than just box-score stats, like “You had 10 tackles this game.”
AB: Alright, that makes a lot of sense.
JK: So, of all the linebackers in the NFL last season, where do you think you graded overall?
AB: Geez. 10th?
JK: You’re selling yourself short—you were No. 2.
AB: Oh, that’s what I’m talking about!
JK: PFF has a stat called pass-rushing productivity, which is essentially the percentage of pass-rush snaps you create pressure on. Where do you think you ranked in that among NFL LBs?
AB: No. 1!
JK: Close, you were No. 2…
AB: Ah, dang!
JK: Just kidding with you, you were no No. 1.
AB: [Laughing] Oh, I see! You’re cheating!
JK: On almost 25 percent of your pass-rushing snaps, you created pressure. So for your pass-rush grade, where was that amongst all linebackers?
AB: Um, let’s see. Five?
JK: Nope, No. 1 again.
AB: Dang! That’s good, though, that’s good.
JK: Another area you graded really well for us was in coverage. Where do think you ranked among LBs in that regard?
AB: I’ll say No. 3.
JK: Right on the money—You’re good at this.
AB: That’s right!
JK: What do you think your highest-graded game was last year?
AB: I’m going to say…against the Broncos.
JK: Nailed it. Week 4 against the Broncos. Nice.
AB: That was a good one.
JK: You also graded well for us in 2014 as a rookie. One area you struggled with, though, was missed tackles—22, in fact, that season. You improved greatly in that regard in 2015. How many do you think you had last year?
AB: I’m going to say, 12.
JK: Just eight, actually.
AB: Eight? Really? Makes me feel good to hear that.
[More: Be sure to check out John Kosko’s Vikings training camp report.]