6’2”, 253 lbs.
Arm Length - 31-1/2”
Hand Size - 9-3/8”
40-Yard Dash - 4.78s
With the 49th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama. Anderson is one of those guys draft analysts refer to as a “football player.” Yeah, I know, that’s stupid, but the reason for it is because that typically means he’s not a guy who shows out in the “Underwear Olympics,” but rather, a guy who is simply a game-changer when on the field thanks in large part to toughness, a nonstop motor, and attitude... rather than just measurables and athleticism.
Anderson’s a guy who spent four years with the best college football program in existence. He racked up an impressive 128 tackles, 19 sacks, 6 FFs, 6 FRs, 3 PDs, and 1 INT over his time there. Last year he was first-team All-SEC after putting up 61 tackles, 9 sacks, 4 FFs, and 3 FRs. The SEC is widely considered one of the very best conferences in college football with future NFLers abound.
Anderson enters, and now really completes a very impressive OLB group in Washington. Ryan Kerrigan is in the prime of his career at 28 years old after being a first-round pick back in 2011. He’s a 2x Pro Bowler. Preston Smith was a second-round pick in 2015 and, like Anderson, was also a first-team All-SEC his final collegiate season. At 29, Junior Galette is still a respected presence in the league with 31.5 career sacks. Trent Murphy was the team’s second-round pick in 2014 and led the entire NCAA in sacks his final year at Stanford. Looking at that group, Anderson and the team can really afford to take their time getting acclimated.
“Non-stop motor,” “plays extremely hard,” “very high energy,” “high motor,” “tenacious”... These are the type of descriptions most commonly associated with Ryan Anderson as a football player. He’s a play-maker and a game-changer. And any fan who’s been half-awake the past year or two knows this defense can use him.
To be blunt, the Redskins defense has struggled mightily the past few years. Even with a fairly impressive list of OLBs on the roster, the defense needs more pass-rushing... and they need it consistently. Galette may be capable, but he’s always injured. Smith had a great, but inconsistent rookie year followed by a down year. He’s been the definition of inconsistent. Murphy’s suspended the first four games of this season. Aside from Kerrigan, there’s been no consistent rush. The Redskins hope Anderson can change that.
“New school,” “combine warrior,” “workout warrior”... These are the type of descriptions not associated with Anderson. His attitude harkens back to a day in the NFL when guys simply loved hitting their opponents with no regard for anything else. He goes hard... 100% of the time... and he loves to hit. He has a knack for getting to the football and making plays on it.
Something that certainly will help Anderson’s acclimation process? How about the fact that he gets to come to a team with his Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen and reconnect with another former member of the Crimson Tide in Arie Kouandjio. Ryan’s a guy who’s spent basically his entire life in Alabama and you have to think the whole transition he’s going through as a man will be made easier by having a couple of familiar faces surrounding him in an unfamiliar place.
Where do you rank Ryan Anderson in the current OLB hierarchy on the ‘Skins?
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