The rumors regarding the Dallas Cowboys heading up to the 2014 NFL Draft just keep rolling in and the latest doesn’t have to with quarterbacks; the ‘Boys are reportedly targeting UCLA pass rusher Anthony Barr with the No. 16 overall pick.
FYI, the Cowboys covet Anthony Barr more than they do Aaron Donald, per sources
— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) May 7, 2014
Assuming Dallas takes a pass rusher with its first-round pick, which would be the smartest move, this tidbit of information from Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer Clarence Hill is very interesting.
Barr is as polarizing a prospect as Johnny Manziel, although he doesn’t get nearly the attention because he’s a defensive player. At 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, NFL scouts are divided on what position he would best fit at the next level since he doesn’t really fit as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker.
Considering he was switched from running back to pass rusher as a junior in college, he’s still what a lot of scouts call a “raw” prospect in that many don’t think he can handle all of the responsibilities of playing linebacker. Thus, some think he’s a very one-dimensional player, which would make him a defensive end prospect only and lower his draft stock.
Barr was once looked at as a top-10 pick, but now he’s projected anywhere from No. 6 to No. 30 overall. The Cowboys pick at No. 16, so he could be their pick if players like Aaron Donald go earlier than expected.
With Rod Marinelli (a.k.a. the D-lineman whisperer) now running the defensive show in Dallas, Barr is a high-risk/high-reward prospect; he could turn out to be a stud with Marinelli coaching him since his athleticism is off the charts or he could be another failure of a first-round pick by the Cowboys if he doesn’t pan out.
Since Dallas switched to the 4-3 defense last year, Marinelli and the coaching staff are obviously looking at him to play defensive end in that scheme. For a player with of his raw talent level, the Cowboys could hope for a sequel to the monster they created with Tyron Smith at left tackle; he was another super athletic player who needed refinement and that turned out well for Dallas.
Could that happen again with Barr? We’ll find out if the Cowboys are really thinking that on Thursday night.
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