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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.”





 

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 93 4th Qtr 5:07
Charlotte 106
New York 34 3rd Qtr
Chicago 54
Golden State 16 1st Qtr 4:23
Milwaukee 18
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd 15:28
Carolina 2
Florida 2 3rd Prd
Montreal 2
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd 20:00
Toronto 0
Los Angeles 0 2nd Prd 17:56
Minnesota 2
Columbus 1 2nd Prd 18:19
St. Louis 1
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Colorado
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 55 2nd Half 7:32
NJIT 54
Notre Dame 11 1st Half 12:11
Kentucky 12
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 2nd Half 6:00
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 1 2nd Half 30:00
Columbus 1
Portland 0 2nd Half
Vancouver FC 1
Colorado 0 1st Half 20:00
Houston 0
Seattle 0 1st Half 20:00
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 63 1st OT
(6) Tennessee 63
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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 NoonX13-9

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