Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Vikings picks Barr, Bridgewater 'part of the foundation'

  • Article by: MATT VENSEL , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 11, 2014 - 10:02 PM

Like Bridgewater, the Vikings have not yet anointed Barr as a starter. But the hope inside Winter Park and the expectation outside is that Barr will line up on the field for the first defensive snap of 2014. Predicting exactly where he lines up could prove to be more difficult.

“I have this vision on how I want to use this guy and I don’t want to tell Green Bay, Chicago and Detroit,” Zimmer said. “I want to let them try and figure that out at some point.”

Zimmer said he has never coached a player who had a blend of size and speed like Barr, and the Vikings plan to use Barr as a strong-side linebacker in their 4-3 base defense with veteran Chad Greenway filling one of the two other linebacker spots.

Zimmer hinted that Barr’s role could be similar to how the Broncos use outside linebacker Von Miller, the 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year who has 35 sacks in 40 career games. Miller is a 4-3 outside linebacker who often lines up as an edge rusher on passing downs and uses his flexibility to bend around offensive tackles and his speed to take down the quarterback. Miller also drops into coverage at times, something Barr will also do.

And while Barr played linebacker for only two years at UCLA, CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler thinks that athleticism makes him worth the risk.

“Barr’s best football is ahead of him and projects as an impact edge rusher, whether he’s standing up as a strong-side linebacker, putting his hand on the ground at defensive end or a hybrid version of both,” Brugler said. “Barr needs to prove he’s more than just a one-trick pony and grasp defensive concepts, but he adapted quickly to the defensive side of the ball.”

Subtle impact

Beyond special teams, the impact that the rest of this draft class has on the 2014 Vikings could be more subtle.

Zimmer likes to rotate several defensive linemen to keep them fresh so they can put quarterbacks under duress, but Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton joins a crowded position group that includes Everson Griffen, Brian Robison and Corey Wootton. Barr’s presence will factor in as well.

Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon, picked after Crichton in the third round, is an athletic triple-option triggerman turned traditional tailback, so he could face a steep learning curve as he competes for carries behind Adrian Peterson and tries to carve out a third-down role.

Stanford guard David Yankey, a fifth-round pick, could battle for one of the starting guard spots.

The secondary was an area of need after the Vikings ranked 31st in pass defense in 2013, but can any of the three late-round defensive backs help this season?

Regardless, this class will be judged on both the immediate and long-term contributions that Bridgewater and Barr make, specifically Bridgewater. If the Vikings found their franchise quarterback, anything else from the rest of the class would be a bonus.

“Of course,” Spielman said. “You’re always going to be judged by the quarterback ... no matter how many Pro Bowlers and young guys you get.”





 

  • related content

  • Hartman: Turner says Bridgewater was most impressive QB in draft

    Sunday May 11, 2014

    Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner said that one of the most impressive things in watching Teddy Bridgewater was the steadiness of his play.

  • Vikings GM Spielman busier than usual during draft

    Sunday May 11, 2014

    Seven of the new Vikings players are defenders, including three defensive backs.

  • Northwestern's Colter among 15 rookie free agents with Vikings

    Saturday May 10, 2014

    The Vikings agreed to terms with 15 rookie free agents Saturday night.

  • Chart: Vikings draft picks

    Sunday May 11, 2014

    Seven of the team’s 10 picks are defenders.

  • Cadillac helps Bridgewater celebrate Mother's Day

    Saturday May 10, 2014

    It’s not uncommon for athletes to have special bonds with their mothers, but new Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is particularly close with his mom, Rose Murphy.

  • Chart: Recent NFL rookie QBs

    Saturday May 10, 2014

    Get ’em startedThe top quarterbacks taken in the past three NFL drafts usually have been thrust into starting roles immediately....

  • Poll: Grade the Vikings 2014 draft

    Sunday May 11, 2014

  • Neither of the Vikings’ first-round draft choices, Teddy Bridgewater, left, and Anthony Barr, will be guaranteed playing time this season.

  • Fans might expect to see linebacker Anthony Barr, left, and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the field right away. Their coaches might have other ideas.

  • UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr on the sidelines ready to play against Washington in their NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close