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PFF scouting report: Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama

at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Name: Ryan Anderson

School: Alabama

Position fit: 3-4 outside linebacker

Stats to know: Picked up 129 pressures (22 sacks, 27 QB hits, 80 hurries) over the last three years on 703 rushes. Creating pressure on 18.3 percent of his rushes was well above the NCAA average of 10.0 percent for an edge defender.

What he does best:

  • Subtle hands. Never too demonstrative with them, but keeps his body clean the same.
  • Ultra-productive in SEC. Rarely “lost” blocks even if he didn’t win at highest rate.
  • Strong on the edge against the run. Rarely lost his gap.
  • Plays low, even for size. Routinely wins leverage battle.
  • Makes up for lack of length with technique. Long arms offensive tackles.
  • Pin and swat is his go to move. Uses it very well as a pass-rusher and wins edge with it.
  • Shows the ability to play low and win with the bull rush.

Biggest concern:

  • Not overly athletic and could almost stand to slim down to test upfield shoulder of tackles more.
  • May lack a true position in the NFL. Lack of length will get amplified at next level and could get swallowed up.
  • Looked completely out of place in coverage at Senior Bowl. A switch to off ball linebacker wouldn’t be smooth transition.
  • Change of direction isn’t anything special and doesn’t have great bend around edge
  • Was iffy finishing plays in space.

Player comparison: Akeem Ayers, Tennessee Titans

If Anderson could transition to off-ball linebacker he could be a dominant blitz threat much like Ayers. As a pure 3-4 outside linebacker he may not be nearly as productive as a pass rusher unless it’s in a more limited 10-15 rush per game role.

Bottom line: Anderson is a ‘tweener and may be tapped out already with his potential. He’s been a supremely productive college player, but he’s also played in a favorable scheme at Alabama with incredible surrounding talent. He’s worth a look to see if that production can translate at the next level though he may be limited from being a three-down player.

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