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Is Anthony Barr A Draft Possibility For Eagles?

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Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) during the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the most interesting, frustrating, and compelling aspect of the pre-draft process involves differing opinions on particular player’s draft stock.  For the aforementioned Anthony Barr, there seems to be reasons for both criticism and absolute favoritism.  ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay tends to be of the belief that the former is certainly the case when evaluating the entire collegiate career of Barr at UCLA.  While there certainly appear to be deficiencies in Barr’s game, he has an uncanny ability to rush the quarterback and that can ensure a lengthy career in the professional ranks.  Additionally, the sheer athleticism demonstrated by Anthony Barr at both the combine and at UCLA’s pro day certainly must be enticing for defensive coordinators looking to add a whole new dimension to their front seven.  While critics immediately will point to the inability to support against the running game, it’s important to understand that Anthony Barr is still a developing player on the defensive side of the football.  Primarily recruited as a running back, Barr joined the UCLA defense in his junior year and finished his junior season second in the nation in sacks behind Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones.

Eagles fans surely don’t want to hear about potential, nor should we as a collective unit want another situational project player.  Having said that, the pass rush must be addressed in this draft, and with defensive end Trent Cole rapidly approaching his expiration date as a contributing member of this defense, the time to strike is now.  General Manager Howie Roseman has come out publicly criticizing the lack of depth in this year’s safety draft class, potentially hinting that Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is not on the radar.  Given the track record of safeties drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles while Howie Roseman has been with the team, it might be in both Eagles fans as well as Clinton-Dix’s best interests that the team does in fact go a different route.

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