Anthony Barr was the recent selection for the Lions in our site mock draft. The writer gave a lot of good reasons, it was well researched, but I disagreed strongly with the pick. I will list my 3 biggest reasons for not liking him as a fit for the Lions.
First, I don't think he fits. our scheme. We play a 4-3, but played 3 LBs only about 30 % of the time. I bet nearly half of those plays were short yardage. You just can't play 3 LBs vs a 3 WR set, especially if the opponent has a good passing game like GB. The Packers just put 3 WRs out there, if we play 4-3 they go hurry up, keep their personel on the field, we can't sub, and they have Randall Cobb either being covered by a LB or Indehegbo. Either way, we lose. We play a 4-2-5 most of the time, because we have to. Teams that play a 3-4 either switch to a 3-3-5 or a 4-2-5 for most plays. To keep Barr on the field, either Levy or Tulloch has to come out. Replacing them does not make us better. If you want to be able to play more 4-3 defense and try to dictate, the 3rd LB must be extremely fast and versatile. That is not Barr, although there are a couple guys in the draft that would fit much better. Barr is a 3-4 OLB, us drafting a guy like that is putting him in a position to fail.
Second, is Barr's skill set. He is a good pass rusher, but a HORRIBLE run defender. There is no other way to put it. He does not get off of blocks, and he is not NFL strong. He did 225 15 times at the combine, the lowest total of all LBs. UCLA used him as a pass rusher, but he did so from a LB position. He did not line up. As a down defensive end 1 time all year. For people who think he is Von Miller, he isn't. He does not possess the skills to play DE, he is not strong enough. He also is going to have tremendous difficulty with breaking loose from NFL tackles, who are some of the strongest men on earth. He is going to be at a physical disadvantage very play were he gets engaged by a lineman. This is not an every down OLB in a 4-3. He could be a nice fit in a 3-4 a couple years from now, he has good quickness, but he is not the player our fans picture him as. We want Von Miller, we are getting B Mingo.
The third thing that bothered me was the ranking of the players. First, Evans was there and he will be our pick at 10 if he is there. But he won't be there in the real draft. He is a great talent there was an elite CB, a nice DT, 2 safeties, aTE, and some linemen to pick from. He would've been the last player on the list for me. If we really want an OLB that fits as a pass rusher and a run defender, there are much better choices. Shazier, Dee Ford, Telvin Smith, a kid from Louisville, one from GT, , all guys who are quick, can rush, and can play the run better than Barr. Barr might be a good player in this league, but only if he gets the right fit. He does not fit Detroit, he might fit Cleveland or Pittsburg and be a good player. You only have to look at last years draft to see that 3-4 OlBs don't always fit in a 4-3 ,even if they are very talented. Both Jordan and Mingp struggled last year, neither one started.
I do have one last comment. When I see a LB that is quick, looks impressive , but is not instinctive at all and can't play the run, like Barr, I always think of Ernie Sims. I do not want another Ernie Sims