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2014 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Rumors: Evaluators Love Or Hate Anthony Barr; Jets Intrigued By Kelvin Benjamin

NFL Draft Rumors: NFL scouts either love or hate Anthony Barr, the Jets could target Kelvin Benjamin in the first round, and more prospect news.

Anthony Barr
Anthony Barr

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Love him or hate him — that’s how evaluators feel about UCLA outside edge rusher Anthony Barr, according to NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah. Barr, once considered the second-best edge rusher and top outside linebacker in the 2014 draft class, has seen his stock drop over the spring.

Barr was as disruptive of a pass-rusher on the West Coast as Jadeveon Clowney was at South Carolina. This past season, Barr registered 10 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and forced five fumbles en route earning Walter Camp All-American honors.

Barr has most recently been mocked to the Tennessee Titans at No. 10 in the XN Sports Mock Draft 2.0. According to ESPN Scouts Inc. draft guru Todd McShay, more questions have surfaced about Barr’s game lately.

Barr has good upside as a speed-rusher, given his versatility, his speed and the fact that he’s relatively new to the position (played H-back at UCLA his first two seasons). But he stalls out when attempting to convert speed to power, and there is too much finesse to his game for me to pay a top-15 price for him. He looks as if he’s on skates when he attempts to set the edge.

One of the fastest-rising wide receiver prospects in the 2014 class is Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin. According to the New York Daily News, the New York Jets are “very intrigued” by Benjamin. New York is currently mocked to draft USC’s Marqise Lee with the No. 18 overall pick in the draft as the third wideout off the board behind Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans.

Not so fast. The Daily News reports Benjamin’s height is very attractive to the Jets, and one source reportedly said, “You can’t teach 6-5.”

Speaking of risers and fallers, McShay’s most recent prospect rankings features some wholesale changes. Among them: Justin Gilbert, arguably the top cornerback in the draft, has fallen from No. 11 to 24, citing poor focus and drop-back skills. Morgan Moses, who was once considered a second-round selection at offensive tackle, as jumped up to the No. 14 prospect and a potential Round 1 pick. McShay also calls Ha Ha Clinton-Dix the “best defensive back prospect in this entire draft class” after upgrading to the No. 10 overall prospect.

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