Anthony Nelson

Iowa
DE

Prospect Info

College
Iowa
Hometown
Class
Urbandale, IA
r-Junior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 7"
271 lbs
34 7/8”
Hands
9 7/8”

Prospect Grade

5.74
Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade

2019 Draft Results

Drafted by
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
Round 4 ‧ Pick 5
40 Yard Dash
4.82u
Seconds
 
Bench Press
18
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
35.5
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
118.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
6.95
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.23
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 

Playlist

Nelson's father, Jeff, was a defensive lineman at Iowa for revered coach Hayden Fry 30 years ago. He initially committed to Iowa State as the Class 4A Western Iowa Defensive Player of the Year but switched to the Hawkeyes once they offered him a scholarship. Nelson played in all 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, starting once but contributing as if he had the full-time gig (33 tackles, eight for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles). In 2017, Nelson was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection and Academic All-American after leading Iowa with 7.5 sacks among his 41 total tackles, 9.5 for loss. He also broke up four passes, forced two fumbles, and blocked one kick in 13 starts. Big Ten coaches voted him third-team all-conference for his play as a junior after he collected 45 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and 9.5 sacks in 13 starts during his final season in Iowa City.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 3-4
NFL Comparison
Carl Nassib
Overview
Promising 4-3 defensive end prospect with outstanding length, good quickness and a play motor that keeps humming from snap to snap. Nelson needs to add play strength and learn to leverage his length to unlock his intriguing potential as a pass rusher. Teams could be tempted to play him inside in odd fronts, but he might not have the strength or physicality to handle that early on. His areas of concern are mostly correctable for a traits-based prospect with the potential for rapid improvement as a future starter.
Strengths
  • NFL caliber frame with long arms and room for more mass
  • Game engine is tuned up
  • Explodes out of his stance as upfield rusher
  • Rangy to finish once he gets a sniff inside the pocket
  • Additional play strength should allow him to level up as a rusher
  • Initial quickness to cross-face blocker on back side
  • Good athlete with adequate change of direction
  • Shows flashes of quick punch and discard talent
  • Reliable arm-over to exploit block-leaners.
Weaknesses
  • Lacks diversity of attack with his rush plan
  • Rush counters are fairly basic at this point
  • Inconsistent conversion of speed to power at top of the rush
  • Below-average hand strength to pummel the punch
  • Below-average ability to bend the edge and flatten to quarterback
  • Plays too narrow at point of attack
  • Needs to play with better bend into engagement
  • Loses ground when setting the edge against strength
  • Will get stuck on blocks for too long
Sources Tell Us

"He flashes but he didn't play against top-level right tackles and some of his tape is just bland against average guys. I need to see it more from him." -- Director of scouting for NFC team

News

The Debrief

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Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft: The five best value picks of Round 1

GRADE
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