Aug 31, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) during the game against the Nevada Wolf Pack at the Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Nevada 58-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Should the San Francisco 49ers Pursue Anthony Barr?

All the NFL draft talk surrounding the San Francisco 49ers rests on corner or wide receiver.  So why is Anthony Barr a sudden target?

Aldon Smith fiasco creates conundrum for Jim Harbaugh

In the massive swirl that is the soap opera surrounding the 49ers whether it’s Jim Harbaugh or Colin Kaepernick, the one thing people could rest assured about is the defense.  It’s one of the best in pro football and is highlighted by a star-studded front seven headlined by lanky, powerful pass rusher Aldon Smith.  Yet for all the great things he’s done for San Francisco is a still very short career, the young man just can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble.  Following a previous suspension for various problems on and off the field, Smith once again got himself in trouble thanks to announcing a fake bomb threat at LAX airport in Los Angeles.  Already the NFL is expected to suspend but at present the 49ers refuse to make any move regarding his position on the roster.  One can understand why.  Outside of him, the best pass rusher they have is 35-year old Justin Smith.  Losing Aldon would threaten to throw their entire defense into a tailspin.

Landing Barr in NFL draft would enable 49ers to dump Smith

It really is a problem for the San Francisco 49ers and Jim Harbaugh.  On the one hand they must be growing tired of his antics given their unwillingness to pickup his 2015 contract option.  Yet they can’t cut him outright because of the glaring hole it would leave in their pass rush.  That is why the upcoming NFL draft is growing more critical for them by the second.  If getting out from under the Aldon Smith cloud is becoming a priority, then replacing his production must be paramount.  Thankfully they have a host of picks at their disposal, granting the opportunity to go after a player of choice at their leisure.  One that would definitely represent a Smith Solution is UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.  His combination of explosion, athleticism and length have scouts seeing tons of potential at the pro level.  He’s still raw in a lot of areas but the physical talent is such that that even inexperience isn’t slowing down his stock too much.  Current projections put him anywhere between the 10th and 20th pick range.  That is perfect pouncing territory should the 49ers wish to move up and grab him.  Barr would become that young pass rusher they need up front and it would offer enough leverage to allow the team to finally put an end to the Aldon Smith headache.

Whether the San Francisco 49ers actually do that bears watching.

Tags: Aldon Smith Anthony Barr Jim Harbaugh NFL Draft San Francisco 49ers

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