Ryan Anderson, EDGE
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 253 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late 1st or 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Nick Perry
Man oh, man. Ryan Anderson is one of my favorite players coming out of this draft. What’s not to like about this guy? Anderson cemented himself as one of the best EDGE/OLB prospects in this draft with a stellar senior season. The Alabama native got better and better with each year of play with the Crimson Tide. Anderson is a great all-around player. He can rush the passer, defend the run, and drop back into coverage. Anderson is also bucking the latest trend amongst potential 1st round selections: He’s playing in the Senior Bowl. There is certainly buzz with Anderson among scouts across the league. Check out this interesting thought:
"I've (been scouting) Alabama for quite a while and I never remember them having an end like Ryan Anderson," he said. "They have had some big, strong guys but he's got anchor and twitch. I think he's the safest bet on that defense right now."
In addition to Anderson’s intelligence and play on the field, one coveted characteristic is his leadership. Lauded by head coach Nick Saban and teammates Anderson was the heart and soul of Alabama’s defense despite being surrounded by stars.
- A wild dog. Aggressive, mean. Anderson plays with good athleticism and great twitch quickness.
- Terrific instincts and vision. Against the run, he can quickly find the ball in the scrum lock on, and make a stop.
- Really improved his coverage ability, more than adequate ability to drop back and cover a receiver.
- Leadership quality.
- Scheme versatile, he can play both OLB positions in either a 3-4 or a 4-3.
- Lacks elite physical traits, he won’t be the next Von Miller.
Let’s see his work:
I asked Ryan Anderson if he was still in for the Senior Bowl.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 13, 2017
"Got a lot to prove. Hell yeah I'm in."
He's a 1st Rounder on my board
Ryan Anderson is technically an outside linebacker because there’s no position called “Evidence That The Universe Is Cruel And Hates You"— Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) January 10, 2017
Ryan Anderson gets overshadowed by other Bama players, but if we do get Gus as our DC, he could be a nice fit at Leo— Justin Byram (@Justin_Byram) January 8, 2017
Ryan Anderson OLB for Alabama is like the definition of a PIT, NE, BAL pass rusher. Nothing special about him, just does everything right.— Jay (@RedskinsCult) January 14, 2017
Meet the most 'hateful' Alabama defender: Ryan Anderson https://t.co/LTak8H9ltd— Pepe Norsu (@Norsu2) January 10, 2017
EDGE Ryan Anderson (Alabama, 6'2", 253lbs). Love how he uses hands + strength to separate from blockers vs the run. One of the best at it. pic.twitter.com/l8NBGFchzU— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 12, 2017
EDGE Ryan Anderson (Alabama, 6'2", 253lbs). Speed, hands, power. I'd love to see him use a counter a little more often, but dang girl! pic.twitter.com/ErzXAQhkYw— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 12, 2017
EDGE Ryan Anderson (Alabama, 6'2", 253lbs). Whew. How's this for play recognition? He gives me the good feels. pic.twitter.com/QmBmClkqTt— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 12, 2017
EDGE Ryan Anderson (Alabama, 6'2", 253lbs). Perhaps this was in the play call, but check out this read + adjustment by Anderson. pic.twitter.com/pbn0wQDI0f— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 12, 2017
Así el Pick Six de Ryan Anderson. La ventaja se amplía 17-7 para Alabama pic.twitter.com/bT71OQ4ygk— receptor.com.mx (@receptorcommx) December 31, 2016
Mel Kiper said he's slotted Alabama LB Ryan Anderson in the mid-30 picks/early 2nd rd., while DT Dalvin Tomlinson is a 3rd rd selection.— Alex Byington (@abyingtonTD) January 19, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
It may not be a popular move to take another outside linebacker so early in the draft when the Redskins are set at the position but Ryan Anderson is a good exception to consider. If the Redskins stick with their 3-4 base Anderson can immediately slide into a significant role as a pass rush specialist OLB and that is despite if Junior Galette is resigned or not. I love Preston Smith and I love Ryan Kerrigan but in all honesty, those guys are better rushing with their hands in the dirt than rushing from a standing position (particularly Smith). This would allow one or the other to potentially make a transition to a 3-4 DE in the ~285 - 290 lb range. It would also allow Anderson to do what he does best and frankly may improve production at the position especially in pass coverage.
If the Redskins end up switching to a 4-3 and end up hiring a guy like Gus Bradley Anderson immediately helps fills the need up multiple LEO linebackers (with Galette) in different pass rush sub packages a guy like Bradley has. At minimum, Anderson would be one heck of a SAM linebacker.
What do you think? Are you as impressed as I am with this kid? Would you break your TV if the Redskins selected him in the 2nd or even 1st round?