With the ninth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select…
UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr.
The Vikings traded back one spot with the Browns to pick up an extra fifth round pick (145th overall). The Browns grabbed Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert with the eighth overall pick.
Texas A&M Johnny Manziel was still on the board even after the trade, but the Vikings passed and addressed a big need at linebacker.
Barr spent just two seasons at linebacker while at UCLA. He started as a running back. The Lott IMPACT Trophy winner played in a 3-4 defense and finished second in the country with four fumbles recovered, fifth with five forced fumbles, ninth with 20 tackles for loss and 18th with 10 sacks. He had 65 tackles (42 solo).
He’s very athletic, but raw. It seems Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will take on the challenge to mold him at linebacker and teach him technique.
Did I mention the Vikings passed up on Manziel twice?
Here’s how the previous eight picks played out:
1. Houston – South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
2. St. Louis – Auburn OT Greg Robinson
3. Jacksonville – Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
4. Buffalo (via Cleveland) – Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
5. Oakland – Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
6. Atlanta – Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews
7. Tampa Bay – Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
8. Cleveland (via Minnesota) – Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert