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 Post subject: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:46 pm 
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Until the first round of the draft actually gets here, the debate will continue to rage on: Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr? With the recent news that the Falcons want to have a strong base 3-4 defense, this debate is even more relevant to the Falcons since both players will likely be available at No. 6 and both fit well as outside linebackers with the ability to rush the quarterback in the 3-4 scheme.

It could be years before we k now which of the two is better, but NFL Media’s Bucky Brooks took a stab at comparing the two currently using analytics produced from a computer. The blog is called ‘Man vs. Machine’ and it’s always an interesting read, particularly for these two linebackers because of the comparisons it makes.

DRAFT SPOTLIGHT: Anthony Barr

For Barr, the machine arrives at NFL comparisons of DeMarcus Ware as well as a few young pass rushers still finding their way in Dion Jordan and Barkevious Mingo. Brooks thinks the similarity of Barr’s 3-cone drill time to Ware’s means the linebacker could have elite edge ability.

“Given the importance of getting to the quarterback, the ability to “bend and burst” around the corner could make him a Pro Bowl-caliber playmaker at the next level.”

For Mack, comparisons hit close to home. The machine gave the name of current Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon as a player closely comparable to Mack. Others include A.J. Hawk and Aaron Curry. Mack was an extremely disruptive player in college, but Brooks doesn’t see quite the same impact at the NFL level.

DRAFT SPOTLIGHT: Khalil Mack

“I’s important to keep Mack’s potential in perspective when making comparisons leading up to the draft,” Brooks wrote. “He might be ideally suited to play the role of Robin instead of Batman for an elite defense.”

The entire blog by Brooks is well worth a read and while we may not have a definitive answer on who projects as the better pro, we now have less than two months to talk about it before the 2014 draft.

http://blogs.atlantafalcons.com/2014/03 ... barr-mack/

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:16 pm 
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Barr has the superior 3-cone, and TD loves a good 3-cone.

But Mack is the better player period.

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:00 pm 
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I have to believe that Barr's ceiling is higher than Mack's. He's only been playing the position for a couple of years.


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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:50 am 
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If you look at their stats the last two years, they are very similar, with the slightest of edges to Barr, with the exception of a few games Barr also played against better competition. Then if you look at the combine, they ran almost identical times, with Mack showing more power and jumping ability and Barr showing quicker feet. Physically Barr is taller and has longer arms too. Picking Mack over Barr isn't a no brainer imho.

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:59 pm 
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http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons ... thony-barr


Falcons to work out OLB Anthony Barr

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Vaughn McClure

Despite all the clever moves made in free agency, the Atlanta Falcons are still in need of a pass-rusher. Specifically, their move to a 3-4-based defensive scheme means the desire for outside linebackers capable of getting to the quarterback.

Draft prospect Anthony Barr appears to be one of those guys, and that's why the Falcons plan to take a long look at him.

Barr has a private workout scheduled with the Falcons before the end of the month, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. The UCLA outside linebacker had been projected as a top-10 pick immediately after the college football season, although most draft experts have now dropped him behind the other touted outside linebacker, Buffalo's Khalil Mack.

The 6-foot-5-inch, 255-pound Barr has a great combination of size and athleticism. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds at the NFL combine, but UCLA coach Jim Mora said Barr improved his time to 4.45 at UCLA's pro day. Mora also said Barr increased his bench press reps from 15 at the combine to 19.

"I think definitely in the top 10, from what I got from the (NFL personnel) today," Mora said of Barr after the pro day. "And they understand that the ceiling is so high. He's only played the position for two years. And they see the talent."

ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. projected Barr to be drafted anywhere between 10-20 in the first round. The Falcons currently hold the sixth-overall pick.

In terms of the Falcons' needs, adding an offensive tackle such as Auburn's Greg Robinson, Michigan's Taylor Lewan, or Texas A&M's Jake Matthews would appear to take priority over a pass-rusher. Then again, all that could change depending on how things unfold at the top of the draft.

It would be hard to pass on Mack, considering how his stock continues to soar. He doesn't have a workout scheduled with the Falcons as of Friday.

If the Falcons see something in Barr during the private workout, maybe he'll rise up their draft board. Whatever happens, they are doing their due diligence in checking out capable impact pass-rushers.

Arizona State outside linebacker Carl Bradford (6-1, 250) said during an interview he had a workout upcoming with the Falcons, and that workout actually took place Thursday. Bradford is projected as a second-rounder, and the Falcons might have to go that route if they elect to target a tackle in the first round.

As things stand for the Falcons right now, Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquoi, and Osi Umenyiora would be the top outside linebackers in the 3-4 setup. Umenyiora reportedly has been asked to take a paycut, so his status for 2014 remains unclear.

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:53 pm 
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Quote:
"I think definitely in the top 10, from what I got from the (NFL personnel) today," Mora said of Barr after the pro day. "And they understand that the ceiling is so high. He's only played the position for two years. And they see the talent."


Kinda reminds me of the talk about Jamaal Anderson...

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:51 pm 
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ridethemattrain wrote:
Quote:
"I think definitely in the top 10, from what I got from the (NFL personnel) today," Mora said of Barr after the pro day. "And they understand that the ceiling is so high. He's only played the position for two years. And they see the talent."


Kinda reminds me of the talk about Jamaal Anderson...


For what it's worth Barr had two good seasons to Anderson's one, and he also has better measurable physical tools. Sure he could bust, but he does deserve to be in the top 10.

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:17 am 
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Frankly I see a lot of similarities between Barr and Anderson.

People love his upside in the 3-4 because he looks the part of a top 3-4 OLB but IMO he plays more like a bigger, longer version of Sean Weatherspoon. So it wouldn't surprise me one bit if a few years down the road we're calling him a 4-3 SAM.

Just like Anderson fitting better in the 3-4 when most loved his upside in the 4-3.

I personally think it is a no brainer to take Mack over Barr. I just don't get why some folks are so in love with Barr and think he's the better prospect (Bucky Brooks & Daniel Jeremiah come to mind) Their production is NOT similar when you start evaluating pressure. Barr rarely gets pressure while Mack does so consistently. I'm guessing a lot it has do with the "tools" (height?) And the fact he went to a big school and has been on the radar for 2 years. Its not like Mack snuck up on folks, but I think people fell in love with Barr's potential last year and are blinded to the notion that he did not improve as a senior.

I just think similar to Manny Lawson a few years ago, some team is gonna draft Barr hoping he improves their pass rush, and its at best 50/50 whether he will. For a pass rusher as raw as Barr, I think it would be setting him up for failure if he went to team like Atlanta where he'd be expected to be the lead dog right away. When you draft raw pass rushers like him or Ziggy Ansah or JPP, you need to put them on a defense where they are only gonna be 3rd fiddle at most and have time to grow. Barr won't get that here in Atlanta, and I think part of the thing that colors me against Barr is because of that belief he's such a bad fit in Atlanta.

I guess its easier to like Barr when you're not really projecting him to a specific team just generalizing...

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:21 am 
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What my fear is TD and the Falcons get blinded by having find a olb that can pressure the passer and over draft the player. We tried to do that with Anderson fitting a square peg in a round hole and it back fired. The path to the draft had a segment on Barr vs Mack and all agreed both will be real good pass rushers. The feeling is Mack is a better player which I agree with. The problem will be if he or Clowney are not available will TD feel so much pressure to find a OLB he over drafts Barr or will he go the safe route and draft Mathews or whoever is left that will be a safer pick.

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Well, he has to get someone. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really sure what the D will look like next year: They have 2 3-4 DLs, 5-6 4-3 DLs, 2 Leos of dubious quality, and 4 4-3 LBs.

I still do remember Nolan's "better to have 10 with 4" comment, but I don't see much success on the roster. With that said, he needs someone that can get after the QB right away, or ATL may struggle again, and that'd be it for him. I think he has to come away with a serious PRS out this draft, and the best choices for that are Clowney, Mack, and Ford, imo. I haven't heard of one of the LBs Pudge mentioned in the other thread, but I'm not sure where else they can get even 6-7 sacks out of this draft.

I'd agree that Barr isn't ready. I think he's getting drafted with the idea that he may develop Abraham's lean around-the-corner. If he does, he's worth a top-5 pick. If not, he's going to have a tough time, as he doesn't seem to have much field awareness or hand strength. Mack does, so he's the safer bet, even without any type of lean.


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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:21 pm 
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The more I read about Barr the less I like him as a prospect and even more so for Atlanta. It is always possible Barr is the better LB overtime but I want a LB that can make an impact day one and has a set of tools to work with and I think Mack brings more to the table short term and long term.

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Without a pass rusher the Falcons won't have A better defense!!

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:44 am 
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I'm still not seeing what makes Mack better than Barr? Barr had slightly better stats, against better competition with only two years at the position. Why again is Mack better than Barr?

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 Post subject: Re: Barr or Mack?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:25 pm 
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On film Mack is better. You're "box score scouting." That was the same thing that led people to think Andre Woodson > Matt Ryan back in 2007-08.

Rather than write 10000 words on it, I'll just say the critical difference is that Barr is a much rawer pass rusher that has a lot to learn from a technical standpoint. That is understandable given his limited experience at the position. But in him you're drafting a very raw piece of clay that is much more akin to guys like Ansah and JPP in terms of how raw they are coming into the league IMO.

Mack is a lot more polished and thus more likely to impact right away as a pass-rusher. Barr could take the better part of 3 years before he really hits his stride given how much he has to learn and get comfortable with. Barr's best football may be ahead of him, or he could just always be a raw athlete that can make plays. Really at this point, Barr is more a blitzer than a pass rusher. And there's an important distinction between the two. Sean Weatherspoon is a good blitzer because he can get from point A to point B quickly. BUt if he is asked to have to use his hands or disengage from a blocker that isn't an undersized RB, then he's not going to beat his man. A pass rusher can disengage from blocks. I just never saw Barr do that in the games I watched.

Mack however can. Mack has more pass rush moves. He can convert speed to power and use a very effective bull rush, he can dip and bend to turn the corner. An NFL team won't have to teach him how to do these things at the next level because he already knows how. They can certainly teach him how to do them better. But Barr on the other hand is going to have to be taught these things because from his tape at UCLA, I never see him doing them.

When you're drafting a guy in the Top 10, you don't want a raw pass rusher. Detroit might've gotten away with it last year by taking Ansah because guys like Suh, Fairley could help carry that pass rush. But Atlanta won't have that luxury. If Barr doesn't hit right away, the Falcons pass rush is gonna stink.

Mack has a much, much better chance of being able to come in right away and being that "lead dog" because he doesn't have to be taught the basics of being an NFL pass rusher like Barr.

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