Outside Linebacker #22
Senior, 6’3” 250
Ryan Anderson is a versatile linebacker who can rush the passer and cover. This year he accounted for 7.5 sacks. His biggest highlight was a key interception return in the College Football Playoff. As an edge rusher, he is relentless and beats tackles with his speed. Anderson will need to work on adding to his repertoire and being better in coverage.
Anderson is an outside linebacker out of Daphne, Alabama. As a four-star recruit, Anderson was highly recruited by most college football powers. He ultimately chose Nick Saban and Tosh Lupoi who have put multiple linebackers in the League recently.
With Alabama, Anderson was a force on one of the best defensive lines in history. He has increased his sack totals every year as playing time has increased. He earned playing time by being exceptional against the run and setting the edge. Since then he has become a pass rusher in order to get on the field more. Here is a highlight video courtesy of Harris and Pro Football Focus.
If the plays feel similar, it is because they are. Anderson uses his speed and high motor to get to opposing quarterbacks repeatedly. He currently only has one move, and at the next level that will not be enough. At Alabama, he also has the luxury of playing with very talented guys who draw lots of attention. It will be interesting to see how he can adapt to better competition moving forward. At the very least, he will see the field on first and second down to stop the run. Another thing to watch is that Anderson has not been asked to pass cover. His position is outside linebacker, but at Alabama he primarily played defensive end. In the NFL, he would lack the necessary length to pull that off consistently. His ideal role would be a rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Draft Prediction: 2nd round