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Stephone Anthony making name for himself at Senior Bowl

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Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony was a consensus national top-20 prospect in the 2011 recruiting class, and he lived up to that recruiting hype in his final two seasons with the Tigers.


» Sources Tell Us: What we're hearing about Senior Bowl prospects


Anthony (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) had a combined 206 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss as a junior and senior at Clemson, and NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said Anthony has impressed him this week at practices for the Reese's Senior Bowl.

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"He caught my eye with his ability to run; then he caught my eye with his ability to hit," Davis said Thursday during the NFL Network's coverage of the Senior Bowl. "He's a big-time player. Not many people around the country know enough about him. They're gonna learn quickly about him. He's a heck of a player."

Anthony's athletic ability is a selling point. He is a good tackler with some pop. He can be effective as a coverage man in zone, but he needs work in man coverage. Anthony seems like a third-day pick.

Some other observations from NFL Media analysts Thursday:

» LSU's La'el Collins (6-5, 308) was one of the more celebrated left tackles nationally this season, but analyst Mike Mayock says he believes Collins will ultimately play guard at the next level. Collins was a three-year starter at left tackle for the Tigers.

» Colorado State's Ty Sambrailo (6-6, 309) was considered the best left tackle outside the Power Five conferences. He also has seen action at right tackle and guard this week, and some analysts think one of those spots will be his position in the NFL. Mayock said he thought Sambrailo looked "very awkward" at guard during drills this week. "He's a good athlete with a nasty edge ... but he's not powerful at all," Mayock said. Former Colorado State center Weston Richburg was a second-round pick by the New York Giants in the 2014 draft and was moved to guard.

» Mayock said he was impressed by Northern Iowa RB David Johnson (6-1, 224). He had 141 receptions at UNI, and Mayock called him "one of the best receiving running backs I have seen in years." Johnson also rushed for 4,687 yards with the Panthers, and Mayock said, "I'd like to see him be consistently explosive" when running downhill. Johnson has a nice size/speed combo and has been clocked in the high 4.4s in the 40.

» The senior quarterbacks in this draft, as a whole, are an underwhelming group. Colorado State's Garrett Grayson (6-2, 215) threw for 4,006 yards and 32 TDs this season, and for 7,702 yards and 55 TDs in his final two seasons. "I'm not sure there's an 'elite' trait, but he does everything well," Mayock said. Grayson was named the Mountain West Conference's player of the year this season, ahead of Boise State RB Jay Ajayi.

» The analysts continue to be impressed with Miami WR Phillip Dorsett (5-10, 183). While Dorsett had just 36 receptions this season, 10 of them went for TDs and he averaged 24.2 yards per catch. "He has a rare trait, which is his speed," analyst Daniel Jeremiah said.

» The analysts also are intrigued by Clemson DT Grady Jarrett (6-1, 288). While Jarrett is on the small side, he was productive for three seasons for one of the nation's top defenses; he had a combined 177 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss in the past three seasons. Mayock calls him "quick (and) explosive," but Jarrett can have problems getting off blocks at times.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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