Mike Zimmer is a defensive coach, so you know he'd be excited about the Minnesota Vikings choosing defense with the team's first pick in his tenure.
It may not have been what many Vikings fans were expecting, but Zimmer shared GM Rick Spielman's enthusiasm of drafting Anthony Barr with the #9 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Zimmer led his press conference with a big statement about Barr: "This kid is a full grown man". Zimmer is excited to take someone with Barr's talent level and make him better. "He's still learning a lot of different things and we'll be able to teach him a lot," Zimmer explained. Coach Zimmer repeatedly praised Barr's intelligence and character throughout the press conference.
The potential to play Barr in a lot of different roles on the Vikings defense was a big selling point for Zimmer. "Without trying to tell too many things, I think we can use him in a few different positions." Zimmer anticipates that Barr will be used as a Sam Linebacker in the base package and will be a blizter in sub packages, intimating that Barr will be a three-down linebacker.
Next there were two assumptions that Zimmer quickly dispelled:
- Barr was going to take Chad Greenway's place in the defense.
- Barr will be handed the starting job since he was such a high draft pick.