2014 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings Take Big Risk With LB Anthony Barr

By Andrew Fisher
Minnesota Vikings
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings found themselves in a great and unique position in the 2014 NFL Draft. Sitting at the No. 8 spot, the team’s options were pretty much limitless. They could have traded up, they could have traded down, but in the end they decided to move back just one spot to No. 9.

With the No. 9 overall pick the Vikings selected OLB Anthony Barr from UCLA.

You can sum up the Barr pick with one word — risky. Although the young LB has a lot of upside, he’s far from what you’d call a lock pick. His selection has Mike Zimmer written all over it. If there’s anyone who can whip the 6-5, 255 lb. prospect into shape, it’s the defensive guru.

Although the Vikings are coming off a tough 2013 campaign, they’re not in terrible position heading into next season. Compared to other teams who picked in the top 10, Minnesota is actually just a player or two away from being back in playoff contention. Barr is not the type of pick that will get the Vikings over the hump next season, but down road, he could prove to be a huge asset if he develops.

Rick Spielman has done a tremendous job over the past few years of drafting top notch talents and at getting tremendous valuable. Spielman’s calling card has become trading back up into the first round and scoring the Vikings at least two top prospects on day one. He did it in 2012 with Harrison Smith and he did it again last year with Cordarrelle Patterson.

We’ll have to wait and see if he makes another move later tonight.

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