CBS Sports Analyst Has Steelers Taking Anthony Barr In Latest Mock Draft

By Josh Svetz

Many experts have tried to pinpoint what the Pittsburgh Steelers want to do in the upcoming draft. While many of them have recently suggested cornerback or defensive end, CBS Sports draft analyst Pat Kirwan has offered up another possibility in his latest mock.

As of Friday, Kirwan has the Steelers taking UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr with the 15th overall selection in the upcoming draft.

According to Kirwan, “The Steelers’ pass-rush production at outside linebacker has fallen off in recent years. Barr started playing defense just two years ago and in 27 games made 58 plays behind the line of scrimmage, including 22 sacks.”

Kirwan does bring up some interesting points; however our own Alex Kozora had an excellent overview of Barr.

“The realization with Barr though is that he’s a guy still honing his craft. He’s only played linebacker for two years. And he’s spent that time standing up in a 3-4.”

“He at least shows flashes of dominance as a pass rusher on tape. A lack of consistency isn’t surprising for a player so green. The important thing is there are moments on tape where you can look at him and say, “I know what he is capable of.”

That seems to ring true, as Barr has only played linebacker for a short time. Kozora sees Barr as a developmental player and I echo those sentiments.

The Steelers already have a project linebacker in Jarvis Jones, so it seems unlikely that they would add another one with their first pick with so many other needs to attend to. Having said that, unless linebacker Jason Worilds is signed to a long term deal between now and the start of the regular season, the team might need a new starter opposite Jones in 2015. Whatever the case, Kirwan’s thoughts on the Steelers drafting Barr is not completely off base.

Currently, the Steelers do have a pre-draft visit scheduled with Barr, according to our pre-draft tracker. However, as Kozora states in his profile of Barr, “While he does have a visit scheduled with the team, it’d be surprising if the Steelers’ snagged him at pick fifteen. With the starting outside linebackers set, there isn’t a reason to think they will spend another high draft pick on an edge rusher.”

We will see how Barr’s visit goes, as the only people that truly have an idea of what the Steelers will be doing with their first pick are General Manager Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

  • Nolrog

    The point is valid, that we do need a stronger pass rush, however, the pick is poor (bordering on idiotic). We need a DE and a corner desperately, so I don’t see the sense in an OLB. Heck, I could even see a MILB to anchor the D over OLB.

  • Joe Gulaskey

    I love seeing some of the picks CBS and Bleacher Report have for the Steelers. I know its mock draft season but I have seen predictions for at least 20 players at this point.

  • Luke Shabro

    I wouldn’t be furious with the pick because I do believe we need to get the pipeline going again but I wouldn’t like to draft an OLB at 1.15 after drafting one last year and paying Worilds big for one year. I’d rather them draft someone in the second or third round to develop and also get Shaquille later. Just my thoughts. 1.15 should be spent on a WR or Ebron if Justin Gilbert is off the board. Defensive players take too long to learn the system to spend your first pick on a player who will barely see the field this year.

  • Jason

    I think that speaks to the amount of needs on this team. One could argue the case for WR,TE,Oline,DT,DE,MLB,or CB as a first round need.

  • joed32

    If you follow all of the mocks the consensus is that they’re picking everyone who isn’t a QB. Which means nobody knows. The last time they picked a UCLA pass rushing OLB it was Bruce Davis and he didn’t work out.

  • Joe Gulaskey

    I think there is a difference between need and want. We can always upgrade positions, but only at CB and DE are we missing a true starter.

  • Rob H

    I’m sure this guy has the potential to become a real beast in a couple of years, but we don’t have the luxury of using any of our high picks on guys based on potential, we need players who will see the field and make an impact THIS season. No high risk/reward picks, at least not in the first couple of rounds anyway.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I have a feeling Barr is going to fall and be available at 15, however I think it would be a mistake taking a OLB over another area of need. I guess the only way it makes sense is if they don’t feel Jones will develop or Worilds wont be there after this year.

  • Joe Gulaskey

    Too Soon…. 2008 draft we knew you well….

  • Jason

    I said one could argue the case. I’m not sold on late round pick Vince Williams at MLB and even if Spence is 100% healthy we have no idea what kind of pro he’ll be. McClendon is not a true NT. I agree that DE and CB probably top the list but if there’s nobody there at those positions worthy of a top 15 pick and we can’t trade down then all these positions are possible. Besides it doesn’t really matter if we are missing a true starter at corner because even if we draft one at 15 he won’t start this season anyway.

  • Jason

    If they’re already thinking Jones won’t develop that’s a big problem. I think if they took Barr it would be because they had him rated so highly compared to other available players that they couldn’t pass him up.

  • greeny

    We have needs at all positions. Take the best player available

  • Jim McCarley

    The thing about the mock drafts and pre-draft discussions is that we all get to add players to our wish list….Just like on Amazon. It’s fun to wonder about the perfect draft when we get exactly who we want at each position. Reality, though, is that there are 31 other teams out there and they have a wish list as well…Like many here, I will be in front of my tv for the draft and then at my computer checking out all the guys we got …..Hopefully, we will all be happy with every pick, but odds are we will not….So, instead of debating who they should or will pick, I’d rather see who they actually did pick. Player evaluation is not an exact science and I sure would hate to be picking players and putting the fate of Steeler Nation on my shoulders…..we are a prideful bunch and rightfully so. Enjoy the process and trust the organization.

  • Bob

    If the draft plays out the way Kirwan predicts, the top 2 corners, top 2 receivers, top 3 tackles are already off the board. I know a lot of people like Ebron at #15, but I feel that Barr is a better value. If we assume that there is no partner for a trade down, which would be my first choice in such a situation, then I think Barr would be the best value that fits the team. Consider that Worlids is not signed long term and has had essentially 1/2 a season that was starter worthy, you have to put a question mark as to whether or not he is the long term solution. Moreover, the odds of both our starting OLBs making it through the season without missing time is unlikely. Having Jones and Barr would give us, youth and talent at the most important position on the defense at a cost that would allow us to carry a big Worilds contract as well without over committing dollars to the OLB spot. Kirwan has had some really bad mocks for Pitt, this isn’t one of them (other than that the guys we really want are already gone).

  • Jason

    Although I hate the thought of drafting another OLB #1 your post is a well thought out and accurate one in my opinion.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Worlds contract is a big part of the equation. If they look at their first round pick as someone that can save them from spending 10 mil a year plus a signing bonus for Worlds next year it might become more important than simply addressing a position of need.

  • Callentown

    Mosley answers the question about Spence. That is to say, if they really don’t have much faith, we could very well take Mosley and that wouldn’t be so bad. Solidifies the LB’s across the board.

    Still need NT and CB but it’s a start.

  • Callentown

    Here’s an early morning raise of my coffee cup offering a cheers for positive ‘trade-down’ karma! The best move of all most likely if it is possible.

  • RyanW

    Unless they dont believe they can lock up Worilds long term this would be a waste.

  • Ike Evans


  • Ike Evans

    Well…..the draft may dictate other wise if certain guys aren’t there in the first round

  • Ike Evans

    So true

  • Ike Evans

    I agree…it would be a luxury pick…but its like only 2 corners to draft at 15…if they’re gone and then we’re reaching for guys like hageman or tuitt in the first its like….why not just go BPA instead of reaching? What if Mosley is gone too?…..I mean its troubling

  • Rob H

    I hear what you’re saying, but no matter what happens 1-14, there is going to be an impact player there @ 15, I would even prefer they take someone like Fuller 3-5 spots ahead of where he’s projected, than to take a chance on someone you hope will be great, at a position where he’ll be stuck behind two starters while he develops and learns the position.

  • Ike Evans

    I mean fuller would be stuck behind ike, cortez AND William gay for at least a year….I don’t think that’s a bad thing….and fuller is a project because he’s good at everything EXCEPT zone coverage so you would have to teach him a few years like Keenan lewis who also was knocked coming out because his lack of off coverage skills…..I see your point just the example was off….a better one would be..hmmmm Taylor lewan or Zach martin…..orrrrrrrrr kony ealy I guess…he wouldn’t have to really be stuck behind any body and would serve your point about instant impact

  • Jesse Hare

    If Dennard and Barr are there at 15, we’ll take Dennard. But if Dennard isn’t there and Barr is, why shouldn’t we take him and hold off on a corner until the 2nd round? He’s a top 10 projection, yes he has some work to have done on him, but we need a pass rush badly. Not even Dennard can defend a receiver forever.

  • Matt Manzo

    Just saw a mock from another site(last time I named a site it got erased) that has us taking Marqise Lee #1, Troy Niklas #2, and Ed Stinson #3.
    I don’t like this one!
    Lee is good but that extra something is missing from his tape that I want in our #1.
    Niklas in 2, no way, we need a CB.
    Stinson in 3 makes sense, he sounds like Steeler!

    I wanna mention he has KBenjamin going IN THE 3rd!

  • Big White

    Barr is definitely worthy of a 15 pick and then some, However, the Steelers just spent four months figuring out their OLB position. Tough sell.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    CB has 3 starters. So I do disagree with that statement. I just do not go with the flow on the desperate need for a CB however I do see the need for one next year and have no problem taking an early CB this year.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Although I can agree that since we have 2 top end OLB’s starting it would be a waste to draft a 1st round OLB in this draft but the guy has talent and could be a star. If he is available and other key guys we are targeting are off the board then I have no problem especially since we need depth at the position.

  • Nolrog

    I agree, but I think we have enough needs that the BPA (or at least among the group of BPA) that we can grab someone that will fill a huge need that’s not a huge over reach.

  • Nolrog

    I really think that they change just for the sake of changing, and not because that’s what they think will happen. Between now and the draft, what new information will we have that will change mocks? Very little, yet they come out with a new mock every week, maybe twice a week. If it’s always the same, then no one would read them, so, IMO, they change them for no other reason than so that it’s different than last week.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    When you’re coming off two 8-8 seasons, you can find a starter at 15. A cornerback would not start but he would play the nickle ( Shamarko Thomas Last year). Vince Willams and Jones played as rookie -Mosely could, too. I think defensive end is the exception. Never seen a rookie DE play in our system.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    I know most of Steeler Nation disagrees but I don’t think they would pass Lewan. We must get an impact player. Top ten caliber o-line men come ready to play. And most make an impact. Ike, I respect your previously mentioned opinions about Lewan. I just don’t think the Steelers feel the same way. In any case, we all agree that the 15th pick better be a great one!

  • Ike Evans

    The entire purpose of the comment was to say those guys not be there… That was the purpose….and a ILB never started as a rookie….until last year

  • wdhammer

    If Evans is thee no brainer ,if not D,D,D,D,D,D,D,D