Report: UCLA linebacker Barr attending Vikings 'Top 30' event next week


UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr will be in Minnesota visiting the Vikings during their 'Top 30" prospects event on Monday and Tuesday, the Star Tribune reports.

Also attending the event will be Louisville inside linebacker Preston Brown. Barr is widely considered the second best linebacker in the draft behind Khalil Mack of the University of Buffalo.

Barr is falling all the way down to the 36th pick in the draft in Todd McShay's latest mock draft at ESPN.com (accessible only to ESPN Insiders). McShay's mock is one of the rare because Barr has typically been projected as a first-round pick.

Barr led UCLA in tackles for loss (20) and sacks (10) last season. He was named a first-team All-American and has started every game for the Bruins since switching positions from running back to linebacker two years ago. At 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, Barr has outstanding speed. He was timed at 4.66 seconds in his 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February.

In two years as a starting linebacker, Barr has totaled 23.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and 41.5 tackles for loss in only 27 games. He's considered a work in progress but has all the tools to become a very talented player in the NFL.

According to NFL.com, Brown is a physical middle linebacker that will be at his best with a "demanding position coach."

One of Minnesota's main areas of weakness heading into the 2014 season is the linebacker position. Chad Greenway is the only player returning that figures to be a lock in the starting lineup. Jasper Brinkley, Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges and Audi Cole will all be fighting for playing time.

If Barr and Mack go in the top 10 of the draft, they'll become just the fifth and sixth linebackers to be selected in the top 10 over the last six years, according to College Football 24/7. The previous four are Barkevious Mingo (Browns), Aldon Smith (49ers), Von Miller (Broncos and Aaron Curry (Seahawks).

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