2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Ryan Anderson
Ht: 6'2" Wt: 253
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On a defense full of blue-chip prospects, Anderson was an underrated presence. He often did the dirty work like taking on blocks and forcing the play to his teammates. While that may not show up on the stat sheet, scouts don't forget it. The success achieved by first-round talents like Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, and Tim Williams can be linked to the play of Anderson. Teams are filled with guys like this, and he is a prospect that can help in a number of areas.
I honestly feel like Anderson was playing out of position at Alabama. He didn't have the athleticism or length to be a consistent edge rusher, but we saw the kind of player he was in his effort. He was resourceful and found ways to not only be effective but one of the better players at the position as a senior. If I had to pick a natural position for him, it would be as a strong-side linebacker in a 4-3. His ability to take on blockers and play with gap discipline would fit perfectly there. He diagnoses plays quickly and springs into action. He is a smart player and understands where he has help, and just like setting the edge he would have to take on the correct shoulder of the blocker and force the play towards it. My only concern would be his lack of length. Taking on the block is only half the battle. He will also have to disengage and pursue, which is difficult when your arms are on the shorter side. Still, as I mentioned, he is resourceful, and I wouldn't put it past him.
On passing downs, he could occasionally be used as an edge rusher. When he can capture the edge, he gets low to turn the corner, making it difficult for bigger players to shove him out of the play. He also plays with excellent leverage, which comes in handy when he chooses to bull rush his opponent. It will also be useful as a blitzer. In coverage, I am not sure if he has the athleticism to consistently cover tight ends or backs out of the backfield. In zone coverage, I think his instincts could play well, but even there, his athleticism would limit him.
Despite his limited upside on passing downs, I think he has added value on special teams. Whether on return units as a blocker or on coverage units, he can have a role, and that is something coaches covet. As a tackler, he strikes his opponents and usually does a solid job of getting them to the ground. Once again, his shorter arms can sometimes be an issue, but once again, he is a resourceful player that always seems to find a way. He plays with outstanding intensity and seeks out contact which are two other areas he will fit on special teams.
He has very high character on the football field as well as leadership ability. He has a team-first mentality and works his tail off to be the best player he can. There was a single incident off the field where he and a girlfriend were both arrested. Neither laid a hand on each other, but some damage was done to each other's cars. With that being said, domestic violence is a serious issue plaguing the NFL right now, and coaches will want to dig into that further before selecting him. He had his ups and downs at the Senior Bowl, but the truth is, most players do. He was playing a new position and struggles were expected. If he can put together a solid positional workout at the combine, he could boost his stock into day two. As of right now, I put him a fourth-round grade on him.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Devon Kennard (New York Giants)
- Instinctual and disciplined player
- Plays with good leverage
- Resourceful with high motor
- Loves contact
- Added value on special teams
- Limited athletically
- Little experience at his natural position
- Arms are on the short side
1)   IS RYAN ANDERSON THE NEXT ALABAMA LINEBACKER HEADED TO BALTIMORE?   - BaltimoreRavens.com |
2)   Alabama football: Reuben Foster, Ryan Anderson two of the biggest 'dawgs' on the team   - SEC Country |
3)   ALABAMA NOTEBOOK: Ryan Anderson is disruptive force once again   - Dothan Eagle |
4)   Ryan Anderson Twitter|