Falcons’ draft board: Khalil Mack vs. Anthony Barr

INDIANAPOLIS – The word on the streets of the Circle City is that the Atlanta Falcons have Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack rated higher than UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.

Both of the linebackers could help the Falcons defense and should be available if they hold onto the sixth pick in the draft.

Mack tested better than Barr at the NFL scouting combine on Monday.

Mack ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds (tied for fourth), had a vertical leap of 40 inches (second), broad jump of 10 feet, 8 inches (second), lifted 225 pounds, 23 times (11th) and three-cone drill of 7.08 (10th) and 20-yard shuttle time of 4.18 (fifth).

Barr ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds (sixth), had a vertical of 34.5 (14th), had the broad jump of 9 feet, 11 inches (12th), lifted 225 pounds, 15 times (Not in top performers), ran the three-cone drill in 6.82 seconds (third) and the 20-yard shuttle time of 4.19 (sixth).

Based on the numbers the speed is basically a tie. Mack appears to have a more explosive lower body and is stronger than Barr (23 to 15 lifts).

While Barr has a better ability to change direction at a high-speed based on the three-cone drills and a slight end in lateral quickness and explosion in short areas (20-yard shuttle).

Mack is 23 and Barr turns 22 on March 18.

Barr starting his college career as a running back before old Falcons coach Jim Mora switched him to the defensive side of the ball.

“The transition was pretty smooth, honestly,” Barr said. “ It was difficult at first. I think moving backwards, going back in coverage, was something that was new to me. But now, I feel comfortable with that. …It’s still sort of new to me in a sense. It’s exciting. If I continue to work, the sky’s the limit.”

Here’s a previous blog on Mack. CLICK HERE.

Here's a fine Buffalo News story on Mack by Tim Graham.

Some more background on Mack from the Buffalo News and the dynamic Tim Graham.

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.