Vikings: Anthony Barr in focus
Vikings’ rookie Anthony Barr is currently our fifth ranked 4-3 outside linebacker with a +8.7 overall grade. He’s clearly at his best while rushing the passer. Barr’s +7.4 pass rushing grade and his 13.8 Pass Rushing Productivity rating, rank second and seventh, respectively, at the position. He has 20 tackles and 11 stops against the run on his way to a +3.0 grade in run defense.
There are two main areas that Barr must work on as he develops. The first is his tackling; Barr has missed more tackles, 22, than any other defensive player in the NFL this season. The second is his work in coverage; Barr has allowed one reception for every 5.5 snaps in Coverage, and opposing quarterbacks have taken note of his struggles, completing 54 of 59 passes into his coverage and making him the most targeted Viking this season.
When the Vikings drafted Barr with the ninth pick in the draft, many thought that they were filling the pass rushing void left by the departed Jared Allen. However, the Vikings have used Barr in more of a traditional 4-3 outside linebacker role with a little added blitzing responsibility. He handles his pass rushing duties with aplomb, but the other aspects of his new role will take some time to master. Overall, the Vikings have to be excited about his production thus far, as well as his future potential.