Randy Moss is a high school football coach.
And this has been another installment in “THINGS YOU NEVER THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN.”
Best-case scenario: Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has been tight-lipped about his plans for Barr, but there are rumors about a Von Miller-like role for the rookie. Barr is penciled into the starting lineup as a SAM linebacker, which would place him opposite the tight end in an "under" defense. This would allow Barr to use his hands to jam and disrupt big-bodied pass catchers at the line while also tasking him to set the edge on run plays. He could become a designated edge rusher in the Vikings' nickel package, giving the unit a dynamic defender to spice up a pass rush that will be without Jared Allen for the first time in seven years. Given Barr's athleticism and production as a pass rusher at UCLA, the hybrid role could pay immediate dividends for the Vikings.
Worst-case scenario: Barr spent just two seasons as a linebacker at UCLA, so he is still a raw player at the position. Thus, the Vikings have to carefully weigh the pros and cons of loading him up with responsibilities before he is fully comfortable with the pro game. Additionally, Barr must become comfortable dropping in space and covering tight ends/wide receivers in the slot. Juggling so many new responsibilities could prevent Barr from making an immediate impact.
Projection: 65 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, one interceptionAnd on Bridgewater:
Best-case scenario: Bridgewater is not only the most pro-ready quarterback in this class, but he lands in the best situation to succeed as a young player. He is flanked by an All-Pro back (Adrian Peterson) and a wealth of dangerous weapons on the perimeter (Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph), thus allowing him to function as a game manager from the pocket. If Bridgewater can take the starting job from Matt Cassel early and stick to playing like a pass-first point guard, he can help the team get back into playoff contention this season.
Worst-case scenario: The Vikings are happy to have Cassel serve as a temporary placeholder, but team officials surely want the No. 32 overall pick to claim the job quickly -- if not in training camp. The rookie is the future for the franchise at the position, so it's important for him to show he is ready for the job early in the season, to inspire hope and optimism throughout the organization. A prolonged incubation period would be a major disappointment.
Projection: 3,200 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 62 percent completion rate.Get excited Vikings fans because if these two blue chips can perform as Brooks is projecting them to, the Vikings are going to be very good this year.