Photo of Ryan Anderson
Grade
6.3 ?
  • 4.78 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'2" Height
  • 31 1/2" Arm Length
  • 253LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/8" Hands

Overview

Getting on the field at linebacker for Alabama isn't easy for a young player. Anderson was a five-star recruit, but redshirted in 2012 and played just a bit in 2013 (five tackles, 1.5 sacks); he considered leaving the program. He received more time on defense in 2014 (25 tackles, 8 TFL, three sacks with no starts) and was a key reserve pass-rusher as a junior (11.5 TFL, six sacks) before finally getting the starting gig in 2016. Anderson didn't receive all-conference notice from league coaches, but the media voted him first-team all-conference (61 tackles, 19 TFL, nine sacks, three pass breakups, one interception for a touchdown).

Analysis

Strengths

Thick through shoulders and chest with good upper-body power. Exhibits professional approach on the field. Disciplined and married to his assignments. Stays clean. Comes into the league with NFL-caliber hand work. Ready hands at point of attack with a willingness to stick and move to avoid being swallowed by size. Sets a sturdy edge and makes a point to physically challenge tight ends early in the game. Will "dead arm" inside shoulder to alter blocker's balance and sneak around the outside hand. Relentless charge as a pass rusher and gets home thanks to his effort. Leverages runners to the sideline and rarely gives up a cut-back lane. Tackle finisher who is always hustling. Plays teammate ball over hero ball. Has experience at outside linebacker in both 3-4 and 4-3. Forced five fumbles over last two seasons.

Weaknesses

Relatively average athlete for the position. Lacks desired pursuit speed and closing burst as a 4-3 linebacker. Hips are a little stiff and he lacks plus range of motion. Could struggle with cover skills in space. Short arms could become an issue if asked to stack the edge against NFL tackles. Effort rusher missing desired traits found in consistent NFL pass rushers. His edge rush is more elongated and gradual than tight and sharp. Gets punched by tackles while shoulders are still square, causing him to flatten out as a rusher.

Sources Tell Us

"Size is more suited for 4-3 SAM but he could play some rush outside backer in a 3-4. He would fit Baltimore and Pittsburgh as a 3-4 SAM, too." -- NFC area scout

NFL Comparison

Ahmad Brooks

Bottom Line

Well-schooled with a high football IQ and a history as a winner. His disciplined, assignment-based approach to the game should resonate with defensive coordinators. Lack of length and average athletic traits could put a cap on his draft stock, but he should be a safe pick and a long-time starter as an outside linebacker.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.