UCLA Bruins outside linebacker Anthony Barr has been one the top pass-rushers in college football over the past two seasons, and he could be terrorizing quarterbacks in the NFL soon enough. So it comes as no surprise when ESPN NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both pegged Barr as their No. 2 overall prospect in their latest ESPN NFL Draft prospect rankings.
“Barr has been dominant this season. He has played with great effort, and he possesses very good first-step quickness and elite closing burst as a pass-rusher and a run defender,” McShay wrote. “He has ideal size and length for his position, and his versatility to not just contribute as a pass-rusher but also to hold up well in the run and when dropping into pass coverage adds to his draft value.”
It’s also worth pointing out that both Kiper and McShay also have South Carolina Gamecocks junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney as the No. 1 overall prospect, but said Barr wasn’t far behind him, and some scouts may favor Barr more than Clowney. Don’t expect to see that be the case when the draft rolls around, as a quarterback will be selected with at least one, if not both of the top-2 picks.