Nov 2, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) is called for a roughing the passer penalty after a hit on Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau (13) at Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Colorado 45-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In a somewhat surprising development, Todd McShay has made a bit of a splash with his latest player ranking updates for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Jadeveon Clowney is pretty unanimously the highest graded player for any analyst out there (with some exceptions, of course), and while ESPN’s own McShay ranks the South Carolina defensive end as his number one player, he might consider UCLA defensive star Anthony Barr as 1A.
In McShay’s latest ranking update, he has both Clowney and Barr rated at a “96” which obviously doesn’t mean they are the same prospect, but he thinks they are on the same level in terms of where they are at now and where they can be when they get to the NFL.
In 10 games this season, Barr has 51 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and seven sacks along with five forced fumbles. Since moving to the defensive side of the ball, Barr has been an absolute force and is not only dominating games but he’s putting up the numbers to back it up.
Clowney has been very good this season, but the numbers are nowhere near what some people thought they might be when they pegged him as a Heisman Trophy candidate. So far this season, Clowney has just 32 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks.
There’s no doubt that both of these players have a dominant impact on the game, but clearly McShay feels like Barr has shown enough to contend for the top spot in his overall rankings.
On a side note, McShay also ranks Marcus Mariota, the QB at Oregon, ahead of Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville. He’s not the first to do so, but it’s just another interesting nugget from his rankings update. Johnny Manziel is ranked 20th on that list.