Just weeks after not meeting his expectations at the NFL Scouting Combine, former UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr used his final opportunity to prove to scouts that he’s one of the rare athletes in this year’s draft class.
Barr, who stands 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, improved on his 40-yard dash by more than two-tenths of a second and repped 225 pounds on the bench press four more times (19) than he did in Indianapolis. For what it’s worth, Barr is relieved he’ll never have to line up in tights and run the 40 in front of NFL personnel again.
"Man, I’m never going to run another 40 in my life, and I’m pretty happy about that,” Barr told FOXSports.com on Tuesday. "It’s funny that people get caught up in all of that, but how often are you running 40 yards in a football game? It’s something you have to do so you have to train for it, but it’s something that I am happy to put behind me.”
Ever since Barr underwhelmed at the gathering in Indianapolis, he immediately went back to his roots and began training in Westwood with his strength coach Sal Alosi.
Alosi, who spent nine seasons in the NFL as the head strength coach for the Jets and Falcons, immediately noticed something in Barr’s fundamentals that wasn’t allowing him to maximize his potential.
"He’s somebody who knows my body pretty well, having worked with him for a couple years,” Barr said. "The first day that I got back, he pointed out a couple of things that I needed to fix that were hindering me from performing at my best. I took his advice and made the adjustments.
"He pointed out the flexibility. My hamstring on my left side wasn’t striding out as far as my right one was, so it was holding me back. We shut it down for a couple days and we worked on that. It was just mechanics, really. The first 10 yards in the 40 are the most important part, so he really had me dialing into my first 10 yards.”
While Barr continues the countdown of days until the NFL Draft on May 8, he’ll spend the next month and a half meeting and greeting teams, hoping to find a future landing spot.
Reports last week noted that Barr is scheduled to meet with the Falcons, which the outside linebacker confirmed to FOXSports.com.
"I know that meeting (with Atlanta) is on Saturday the 29th, but we’re still looking to confirm the location,” Barr said. "It will either be at UCLA or somewhere nearby.
"There have been a couple teams that have reached out. I have a couple visits. I’m going to Pittsburgh. I was going to go to Detroit, but I met with their GM the day before the pro day, so I don’t know if they think it’s necessary. I’m also meeting with the Cowboys, Titans and Vikings. Those are the few that stand out the most right now.”
Never one to lack confidence, Barr told FOXSports.com in late February that he "absolutely” should be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and since then he hasn’t budged at all.
"I’m fully confident in my abilities and what I’m capable of doing, so I fully stand by that,” Barr said. "I think I’m the best player available, and with saying that comes a lot of responsibility.
"I think I’m willing to accept that and prove that I am that guy.”